Sunday, November 28, 2010

Writing Sparsely, No Wordiness, Editing

I came across a respected blog, The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor where Carolyn Howard-Johnson blogs about various writing and publishing related issues. She has a series of posts on wordiness but I would like to point you to one of them right now. 

In this post, she says:
Let’s pretend the sentence is: “It is a well known fact that English teachers know grammar well.” Look at all those words. An editor might suggest the writer cut lots of them and just say, “English teachers know grammar well.” 
Now, I do notice lots of wordiness among educated Indians. I have noticed people utter 'A very good afternoon to all of you' or 'I'm repeating myself once again' from the stage. A good afternoon doesn't require 'very' and if you are repeating yourself, you don't need to do it 'once again'. 

I have observed journalism students write 'It can be said that there was corruption in the Commonwealth Games.'  I felt that was too wordy. Why not write: 'There was corruption in the Commonwealth Games' if you do not prefer the too direct 'The Commonwealth Games were corrupt'. 

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