embroider with fancy stitches


Senior Member
Hello everyone:

What does "embroider with fancy stitches" refer to or mean in following sentences?

We all know embroider has colorful threads and nice patterns. Does the author want to stress on organizing narrative flow, not decorative stuff on details?

So remember: Simple is good. Writing is not something you have to embroider with fancy stitches to make yourself look smart.

The source is the essay "Writing English as a Second Language" by William Zinsser from The American Scholar.
Thanks in advance

  • evergreenhomeland

    Senior Member
    Thanks for your explanation. I have checked the definition #2.

    What if fancy stitches make up nice patterns? Maybe the author have focused on writing in Journalism.


    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Maybe he is focusing on journalism, but he is also trying to correct the tendency to over-ornamented expression that is prized for itself in some cultures. If he goes too far in advocating simplicity, it's because he's had years of trying to tone down students' writing, to make it acceptable to readers of English.
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