The "no-sugar" style


I’m the person who like concise, and don’t like the literature style stuffing in lots of irrelevant information to distract you from the main idea. So when I read a book called “No bullshit Java”, I know that’s exactly the kind of writing style I prefer, both reading and writing.

However, that “No bullshit” is kind of stronger than my tolerance. Is there a better phrase that can convey the idea that I don’t like those “bullshit”, but not as strong?

Example usage:

I read a very useful blog, but there are so many distraction there that it is very easy to miss a step. So I’m documenting it again in my (no-)____ style.

I want something more vivid than “concise” (or “distilled”), but not as colorful as “no bullshit”.


For the situation like above, most people would think that “no nonsense” is the best phrase to describe it. However, I’m still hesitate to use it for the above blog-rewriting case, because if I use it, it’d imply the other blogger has lots of “nonsense” in his/her blog. That’s not what I really meant. Many people like to expose their “life long” stories before they start talking business. That’s their style. Although I really don’t like that, I wouldn’t call them “nonsense” for their blogs (but will do for mine).

My Choice

Now, what’s my final choice?

First, let me precisely define what I’m trying to do (or describe) – I want to leave out any frivolous distraction from my writing. The number one meaning of frivolous from OED is “not having any serious purpose or value”. Those are the things I want to eliminate, so that my writing can be succinct, meaning “briefly and clearly expressed, especially of something written or spoken” from OED.

  • If I’m purely talking about my writing, I will surely to use “no nonsense” to describe it.
  • However, if I’m talking about condensing another article, which has many frivolous distractions, into succinct writing, I’ll call it “no-sugar” style rewrite, because there is another person involved.

The phrase “no-sugar” has a computer technical meaning of no-frivolous these days among a small population. Although it is still not widely heard/known, I hope it can get accepted by a broader audience. Thus I’m promoting the phrase now, because this the least condescending and most neutral way to describe it. Just like the coffee, no-sugar means just the coffee, nothing else! I like the expression.

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