While repetition and elaboration are fine tools for drawing the reader’s attention to a certain point, you don’t want to go overboard or do it unintentionally.
Noun Strings: when multiple nouns are used as adjectives, the sentence may become too confusing for the reader. This type of wordiness is commonly found where business jargon is used.
We’d like to find a Greater Toronto area writers’ workshop retreat centre where we can meet for a reasonable price.
We’d like to find a writers’ centre in the Greater Toronto area where we can hold workshops and retreats for a reasonable price.
General Wordiness: can you say it in five words instead of fourteen? Then do so. Even if you need to make up the last 100 words for an essay, you’ll just lose marks for weak writing.
Though she looked all around the room, craning her neck to see all the corners, Dominique couldn’t see a soul at any of the desks or by the water cooler, even though her watch said 3 p.m. and the sign on the office door said the office was open until 4:30.
Dominique found the office unattended though it was during office hours.
Extremely Long Sentences: if you have more than two ideas in a sentence, it may be better to write it as two sentences. Lengthy interruptions or segues should also be written as a separate sentence.
Mary began to make supper, but first she decided to finish sending a few e-mails and to return a phone call, when Margaret arrived at the front door with the papers that the office had asked her to bring over to Mary earlier that morning.
Mary finished sending a few e-mails and returned a phone call. She had begun to make supper when Margaret arrived at the front door. Margaret had brought over the papers that the office had asked her to bring to Mary earlier that morning.
Big Words: sometimes you just can’t avoid large words (scientific terminology, for instance, can’t be changed). As much as possible, though, use vocabulary that will be understood by all your potential readers.
This specific homo-sapiens-sapiens desires an exchange of utterances which may culminate in the consumption of alien cuisine.
I want to know what kind of food you want for dinner.
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