From The Elements of Style, a 1959 classic by Strunk & White
“Vigorous writing is concise,” Strunk wrote. “When a sentence is made stronger, it usually becomes shorter.” Half a century later, when preparing his old professor’s manuscript for publication, White added an essay of his own underlining the argument for concision in moral terms. “Do not overwrite,” he instructed. “Rich, ornate prose is hard to digest, generally unwholesome, and sometimes nauseating.”
Strunk & White, as the combined work came to be known, was issued in 1959 and went on to become a defining American statement of what constituted good writing, with 10 million copies sold, and counting. Its final rule summoned the whole: “Prefer the standard to the offbeat.” Adam Haslett on Stanley Fish (Slate)
It’s OK to write with a dose of cleverness, though, to excite interest.