Wordiness and Economy

Same thought, different words

Bad:

McDonald’s new spicy premium chicken has a rich satisfying flavor and it also tastes good.

Better:

McDonald’s new spicy premium chicken has a rich, satisfying flavor.

Bad:

Anthony Kiedis, lead singer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, always poses for photos without his shirt and bare-chested.

Better:

Anthony Kiedis, lead singer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, always poses for photos without his shirt.

kiedis.jpg

Fix:

A four-year-old boy who fell from his 11th floor apartment, bounced off an awning like a trampoline, and landed on the sidewalk and concrete below.

Circumlocutions

Try to avoid the phrases the fact that and there is and the words field and character.

Bad.

Because of the fact that a woman fell from the roof of a building at 49 East 192nd Street, she died from injuries to her head and torso.

Better.

A woman who fell from the roof of a building at 49 East 192nd Street, died from injuries to her head and torso.

Bad:

In the field of police work, he excels at solving crimes of a homicidal character.

Better:

The police officer excels at solving homicides.

Bad:

I believe there is someone in Brooklyn who is as beautiful as Angelina Jolie, but because of the fact that I am short, fat, bald and broke, will never date me.

Better:

I believe someone in Brooklyn is as beautiful as Angelina Jolie, but because I am short, fat, bald and broke, she will never date me.

Overweight Constructions
Sometimes it’s better to use verbals rather than finite verbs.

(Two definitions of a verbal: (a) of, pertaining to, or derived from a verb. used in a sentence as or like a verb, as participles and infinitives. (b) a word, particularly a noun or adjective, derived from a verb.

Examples:
Dumped wives go crazy insane when they discover your hotel room charges.

My mother lives to torture me and my current girlfriend.

Bad:

The first frat boy who finishes ten whiskeys will win a bottle of Jack Daniels .

Better:

The first frat boy finishing ten whiskeys will win a bottle of Jack Daniels.

Bad:

While I was ripping off the cash register, I decided I would take a nap.

Better:

While ripping off the cash register, I decided to take a nap.

Add Needed Words

To make sentences concise, cut words. Your cuts, however, should not make the sentence ungrammatical.

Bad:

The women in the rahab program are Chinese immigrants whom we saw at the brothel or shopped at the supermarket.

Better:

The women in the rahab program are Chinese immigrants whom we saw at the brothel or who shopped at the supermarket.

Bad:

Rap diva Foxy Brown never has and never will assault a manicurist.

Better:

Rap diva Foxy Brown never has assaulted and never will assault a manicurist.

Fix:

German-born stunner Heidi Klum believes and lives by the laws of fashion.

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1 comment so far

  1. […] Wordiness and EconomySame thought, different words. Bad:. McDonald’s new spicy premium chicken has a rich satisfying flavor and it also tastes good. Better:. McDonald’s new spicy premium chicken has a rich, satisfying flavor. … […]


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