|The Write Place: Guides for Writing and Grammar .............................Home|
Conciseness--Cutting the Fat
WORDINESS "always chose to say something in one or two words rather than three or four"
for more see Deadwood Phrases
PRUNE INTENSIFIERS and FILLERS
Trust words to say what they mean. Nine times out of ten, you can cut words such as:
very, really, just, absolutely, actually, generally, basically, certainly, definitely, incredibly, intensely, of course, perfectly, positively, quite, simply, so, too, kind of, sort of, type of, specific
MORE FAT-- Put it in plain English
PUT STATEMENTS IN POSITIVE FORM
USE SINGLE ACTIVE VERBS
Use Lanham's Paramedic Method to Revise Sentences (slightly modified)
EXAMPLE SENTENCES TO PRACTICE CONCISENESS AND THE PARAMETIC METHOD:
1. An account was opened by Mrs. Simms.
2. Their motives were applauded by us, but their wisdom was doubted.
3. The departure of the fleet is thought to be necessarily conditional on the weather.
4. Even when the sun is hidden and the sky is speckled with stars, the heat lingers, hanging motionless in the air.
5. There is a certain possibility that Joe will visit before Thanksgiving.
6. It is the governor who signs or vetoes bills.
7. Controling the quality and level of television shows that children watch is a continuing challenge to parents that they must meet on a daily basis.
8. Your figures were checked by the research department.
9. My recommendation is for a larger budget.
10. It is essential that we act immediately.
11. Please take into consideration my offer.
12. Our disposal procedure is in conformity with federal standards.
13. We are currently in the situation of completing our investigation of all aspects of the accident.
14. Do not accept bids that are not signed.
15. If my claim is not settled by April 21, the Better Business Bureau will be contacted, and their advice on legal action will be taken.
16. There are people that have the impression that Spanish is our first language, and English is a second.
17. There was a bonfire going, and some music playing in the background, but not very many people were dancing.
18. They were all sitting in rows of seats and they were crying and sniffling outloud.
19. Wisconsin is known for its cheese and milk products, but there is so much more about it they don't know.
20. The problem is that the only things that they have in common is that each one has a supreme being and each one thinks that they are right.
for more see Purdue OWL on Conciseness
Check Answers Sentences 1-10 | Sentences 11-20
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License | Contact Lirvin | Lirvin Home Page | Write Place Home