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Monday, April 14, 2014

Never use two words if one is enough

Never use two words if one is enough



1. WORDINESS

Never use two words if one is enough.
Instead of "past experience," simply write "experience."
The verb "resigned" is a concise alternative for the phrase "left the firm".
  • end result → result
  • future plans → plans

     
If a sentence has more than 20 words without punctuation, or more than 40 words altogether, it may be excessively wordy. Consider re-phrasing the sentence, or breaking it into smaller sentences. People have very short attention spans; if too much information is presented all at once, the brain cannot properly process it.
While there are no strict rules about length of a sentence, if your clauses are longer than about 20 words, or if your entire sentence is longer than about 40 words, it may be too much for your reader to clearly understand. If the reader has to go back and re-read too many sentences, they may just give up reading... and possibly fall asleep.


 

S-V-O is the way to go!

Subject - Verb - Object (S-V-O) Sentences
  1. I play football.
  2. Max reads books.
  3. We can speak English.
  4. Sue is singing a nice song.
  5. I like table tennis.
more tips here:

 

ALSO, WATCH FOR RUN-ON SENTENCES
 

When two independent clauses are joined by a co-ordinating conjunction (e.g. "and", "but", "or", "so"), there must be a comma before the conjunction or it will be a run-on sentence. Clearly identify the conjunction in the sentence with two independent clauses, and insert a comma before the conjunction.

Incorrect: Matthew went to the library and I headed back to the science lab.
The two clauses, “Matthew went to the library” and “I headed back to the science lab”, are independent; a comma should be inserted before “and”.

Incorrect: The wind was brisk but the sun was strong.
The two clauses, “the wind was brisk” and “the sun was strong”, are independent; there should be a comma before “but”.

Correct: The man’s business was failing, so he was searching for alternative income.
The two clauses, “the man’s business was failing” and “he was searching for alternative income”, are independent. The co-ordinating conjunction, “so” requires a comma before it.