This quote was in a financial e-newsletter I received today.

“October is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks. The other are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August and February.”

— Mark Twain.

I bet you think I’m going to talk about the pitiful economy and the terrible downward trend of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (down 678 points today to fall below the 9000 mark).

Well, I’m not.

Instead I’m going to talk about a writing “guideline” embodied in the acronym RUE–Resist the Urge to Explain.

Within that guideline is the  implied message to trust your reader to “get it”. We writers sometimes want to make sure our readers understand what we’re trying to get across. In doing so, we engage in needless repetitions.

I didn’t need to explain to you that in that Twain quote, he was actually saying that the stock market is risky every month of the year. If I did, the humor in his statement would be lost, don’t you think?

Sometimes it is best not to be so worried that our readers are not as smart as ourselves. If they aren’t then they are probably blissfully ignorant and oblivious to what they don’t “get”.

So, leave it alone. Let your statement speak for itself. Don’t try to explain everything. Trust your reader.