Wordiness Part 1

Wordiness Part 1

Good writing is as complete as possible in the fewest words possible.

That is not to say you should leave out facts. Rather, if you can explain an idea with fewer words, then do so.

Mark Twain said it this way: Eschew surplusage.  It means, Avoid extra words.

Writing and Speaking

We usually are wordy when we speak. We repeat ourselves, at least a little, to make sure listeners understand us.

When we write, however, extra words get in the way of reader understanding. Remember: a reader can always reread.  

Small-Group Activity

Reduce the following without changing the meaning.

    1. Of all the things in the world that I can’t stand, the thing that I hate the most is boiled hot dogs.
    2. With a knife, cut some red tomato slices and add them to your sandwich, between the slices of bread.
    3. Put the cookies in the oven. After putting the cookies in the oven, turn on the heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
    4. Valerie scrutinized her face carefully.
    5. He was a typical type of fraternity man.
    6. Richard has a consistently bad habit of not listening to what people are saying to him unless he is sure it will please him.

Small-Group Activity

Reduce the following without changing the meaning.  In some cases, you will not end up with a sentence.

    1. In this essay, I would like to tell you about my father and mother.
    2. I bought the house for the purpose of giving myself a sense of belonging.
    3. I have decided that my consideration of making an application of employment with the railroad is a good one.
    4. If you ask me, I will answer in agreement.
    5. Sometimes I often think that I have a problem with falling asleep when I go to bed.

Individual or Small-Group Activity

Complete the exercises:     Hawaii

Optional Activity