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HomeGuidelines > 1. Trim that Text!  > 1c. Make some sentences short> Challenges + Answers                                   

 

Diagram

Background

Examples

Audience Fit

Challenges

 

Challenges

Rewrite to reveal characters and actions through your subjects and verbs, producing shorter sentences.

(a)  A review of the major research findings was performed by the chief scientist.

(b)  A Japanese typewriter, like the one I had way back in the old days, which would be, say, before 1980, if I had to pick a date, had 3,000 keys.

(c)  There seems to be no obvious reason why, given what my staff have been able to discover, the standard processes are not producing a successful result.

(d)  There is some possibility that approval may be forthcoming from the office of the Chief Financial Officer, concerning your proposal.

(e)  The monopoly of the cartel, which has been formed by the interlocking companies , and which has kept wages artifically low, inflated prices, and slowed progress must, if the economy is to be free to grow, be destroyed by legal action undertaken by the lawyers in the nation’s Department of Justice.

(f)  Our discussion centered around the pros and cons of a tax cut, and we also looked into a rollback of many licensing fees.

(g)  The football teams and the Human Services agencies in their communities, which formed the partnership in 2003, with an aim of providing support for charitable organizations such as United Way, the Red Cross, and many local groups serving the disabled and the homeless, have increased the partnership’s budget for publicity, and it has begun making commercials using two household icons. More.....

Answers=>

Answers

(a) The chief scientist reviewed the major research findings.

(b)  In the days before 1980 I had a Japanese typewriter. It had 3000 keys.

(c)  We do not know why our standard procedure is not working.

(d)  The Chief Financial Officer may approve your proposal.

(e) Companies joined together to form a cartel, which acts as a monopoly. The cartel has kept wages artificially low, inflated prices, and slowed progress. If the economy is to grow, lawyers at the Department of Justice must destroy the cartel.

(f)  We talked over the pros and cons of a tax cut. We also talked about rolling back many licensing fees.

(g)  In 2003 the football teams formed a partnership with the Human Services agencies in their communities. The idea: to provide support for charitable organizations such as United Way, the Red Cross, and many local groups who serve the disabled and the homeless. The teams and the agencies have increased their partnership’s budget for publicity. Now they have begun making commercials using two household icons. More

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reflecting on Brevity

The more you say, the less people remember. --Fenelon

Other ways to trim that text

1a. Cut any paper-based text by 50%.

1b. Use short words.

1d. Make most paragraphs short.

1e. Delete marketing fluff.

1f. Move vital but tangential or supplemental material.

1g. Convert repeating categories of information into tables.

1h. Beware of cutting so far that you make the text ambiguous.

   

Resources on brevity

Taking a Position on Brevity

Heuristic Online Text (HOT) Evaluation for Brevity

Poster

 

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