Pay attention to what you are literally saying. Pay attention to what your words mean, not just what you intend them to mean. Students come to me constantly with their graded papers in hand whining, “Well, what I meant to say was . . .” or “But you know what I meant to say.” Sorry, it is your job to mean what you say and to say what you mean, and it is my job to play the innocent, unsuspecting reader. I must respond to what I read on the page. My task is not to give you the benefit of the doubt and not to read into your confused words what I want you to mean.
— from the section “Say What You Mean– Mean What You Say” in the chapter “Choosing Words” in Sin Boldly!: Dr. Dave’s Guide to Writing the College Paper by David R. Williams.