Wordiness Part 2

Wordiness Part 2

Writing is like a jar.  You can put in facts or fat (extra words). But if you fill the jar with fat, then you cannot get in the facts.


Reducing wordiness does not mean leaving out facts. As you have learned, good writing is as complete as possible in the fewest words possible.

Small-Group Activity

Reduce the following without changing the meaning.

    1. The queen realized that her life was not a carefree and spotless one.
    2. What I am trying to say is that no child should murder his grandmother without good reason.
    3. I heard on a news report on TV that Hurricane Constance is possibly heading here.


Most transitions can be deleted unless the next information contradicts what went before.

Small-Group Activity

Reduce the following without changing the meaning.

The first thing I would like to say is that learning grammar often is difficult because of mistakes that a man named Bishop Robert Lowth made in 1762.  Furthermore, since he was the bishop of London, people in power listened to him and thought his theories were correct.  Therefore, for example, the people of London came to believe that, in English, two negatives make a positive.  Moreover, they came to believe that sentences cannot be ended in a preposition.

Useless and Inaccurate Information

Sometimes, information is not necessary.

Small-Group Activity

Complete the following without changing the meaning of any of the paragraph.

    1. Reduce sentences 1-3 to one short sentence.
    1. Explain why you reduced sentences 1-3 as you did. Do not simply say, “They’re wordy.”
    1. Reduce the rest of the paragraph by deleting excess words.

It was another very routine start to a two-week vacation. I definitely had no fixed plans other than simply flying to Denver. I knew Colorado was a fantastic state, and basically that is all I thought about as I settled into my assigned seat. As the aircraft door was about to be closed, a man walked in and occupied the vacant seat next to me. He mumbled something to me in an absolutely foreign accent. The departure was very uneventful. All we really did was try to kill time, but the book he was reading just attracted my interest: Cave Exploring in the USA.  I certainly was curious and asked him if cave exploring interested him. That was when he explained, incredibly, that in France he was a professional cave explorer. After the dinner service ended we talked, and his stories of days underground were positively fascinating. Finally, he invited me to join him, and I quite happily accepted.

Individual or Small-Group Activity

Complete the exercise:         California

Optional Activity