Rose Benz Ericson

When I was in journalism school, we students always posed the same question upon receiving a writing assignment: How long should the piece be? One professor – whose sauciness seemed charming back then – put it memorably:

“The right length for a story is also the right length for a woman’s skirt: Long enough to cover the subject and short enough to be interesting.” (I learned later that he apparently was paraphrasing Lord Arthur James Balfour, a Scottish statesman and philosopher of the early 20th century.)

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