There’s a reason why telephone numbers are only so long. When it comes to retaining a series of digits, we tend to max out at four.

Likewise, do you think of your social security number as a 9-figure monster, or a three-figure beginning, a two-digit middle, and a four-figure finale?

The same is true in writing.

Think Ernest Hemingway (right), not William Faulkner (below), as you craft stories, including those in news-release form. Hemingway was a master of brevity. Faulkner once whipped up a 1,287-word sentence.

I don’t mean you should write Twitter-length releases. Some of mine are more than 600 words long, like the one I recently wrote about an 80-year-old patient of chiropractor/acupuncturist Hiroya Nakamura.

But keep the sentences short enough that they don’t require three readings to attain comprehension.

A confused mind says “no” and 40-plus-word sentences tend to be much more confusing than those phrases that don’t journey beyond a 25-word landscape.

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