Believe it or not, and judging by the casual way I throw punctuation around on here I wouldn’t choose to believe me either, my job requires a high degree of accuracy when it comes to punctuation and grammar et al. I’ve just been going over our internal Writing Style guidelines, and doing a little research.
As ever I started with my favourite book on style and, as ever, the paragraph below is the one that is stuck in my head. This was a man ahead of his time:
A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid detail and treat his subject only in outline, but that every word tell.
William Strunk, Elements of Style, 1919