wordiness

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Considering that five seconds is the minimal amount of time one's attention is taken away from the road when texting and driving, traveling at 55 miles per hour equals driving the length of a football field without looking at the road, I would say that perhaps our governor's concern about micromanaging and racially profiling is the least of our worries.

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Considering that five seconds is the minimal amount of time one's attention is taken away from the road when texting and driving, traveling at 55 miles per hour equals driving the length of a football field without looking at the road, I would say that perhaps our governor's concern about micromanaging and racially profiling is the least of our worries.
asked Apr 20 '13 at 07:15 becky green New member

1 answer


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First, your sentence is too long -- two long dependent clauses (one which might easily be turned into an independent clause) followed by an independent clause. Please consider breaking this into two sentences. This alone will make it easier to read.

 

Second, your usage of "minimal amout" is redundant and wordy. Minimal means minimum amount; so what you have written is equivalent to saying "minimum amount amount". Consider writing either "minimum time" (preferred usage) or "minimal time" (not preferred).

 

Third, eliminate words (and phrases) that waffle. Perhaps is a good exaple of a waffling word. Which brings us to:

 

Fourth, be direct. Are you making this conclusion? Or, are you really saying, well, maybe you might say (or maybe not) that perhaps (but I may be wrong about this) the governor ... 

 

Fifth, as the author, you do not need to say "I would say." By writing it, you ARE saying.

 

And last, your conclusion is not supported by the information contained in the dependent clauses. The governor's concern is misplaced only if the governor is not concerned about impaired driving. Read your sentence again and you will find that you have not said this.

 

Notice the difference below (I have taken liberties with you meaning for dramatic effect):

 

In just five seconds, the minimum time it takes a driver to text, a car moving at 55 miles per hour travel the length of a football field--ample time and distance for the distracted driver to cause an accident. Our governor does not see texting while driving to be a public safety concern. Rather, the governor prefers to devote his energies elsewhere, opposing the "nanny state" and advocating racial profiling. Clearly, our governor's priorities are misplaced.

 

In my passage, I used more words. But it is less wordy, more direct, and my meaning is clearer.

link comment answered Apr 20 '13 at 15:55 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

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