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





Audience Fit




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 artificially 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 nationís 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 partnershipís budget for publicity, and it has begun making commercials using two household icons. More.....


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




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