To the late great Evan Drayton I owe the rule, “adjectives count as words.” He used it in memory of the Daily Chronicle in late colonial days, under the legendary Harry Harewood. Writers then were paid one penny per word – and wrote accordingly. Your own letters column, Editor, makes me muse an updated scale of dollar values (what other measure of worth is there today?) for published writing.
$10 per noun or preposition
$5 per adjective
$13 per verb
$7 per adverb
Bonus of $500 per article under 3 paragraphs.
With deductions of:
$5 per word over 3 syllables
$8 per sentence over 15 words
$20 per paragraph over 3 sentences
$500 per article over 4 paragraphs.
If history is to be interesting to the present generation, commentaries on it might be more usefully expressed under similar guidelines. And your columns, Editor, might then be more supportive of teachers of writing to the coming generation.