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What's Wrong With This Sentence?

Consider the following sentence. What is wrong with it?

"Write simply to the point."

Look in the correction box for the answer. This includes not only those learning English. Today's note is on advance English and to learn how to write better.

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    Corrections

    What follows are some slight corrections of your explanation.


    There is no spelling error in the sentence and the grammar is correct.  So what is wrong with it?  The answer is...  It's verbose and redundant. It should be:

     

    Write simply to the point.

     

    Verbosity and conciseness have their place.  In the introduction of this note, the first paragraph can be concisely written as, What is wrong with the following sentence?

     

    However, these two are different cases.  In the first one, the word simply is redundant and superfluous.  It adds no value to the sentence.  In the second case, verbosity gives warmth to the tone, making it seem more friendlyto a warmer and friendlier atmosphere.  Another example of how being concise leads to different reactions:

     

    Come here vs Please come here.

     

    Even though both mean the same thing, one is a command and the other is a plea.  Depending on the context, it changes everything.  This entry does not deal with these sort of cases; it deals with how to write simply and concisely without changing the tone.  This is especially true in legal writing which tends to be redundant and verbosity-ridden.

     

    How should the following piece be rewritten?  It was written by a lawyer in the case of SECURITIES INVESTOR CORP vs BERNARD L MADOFF INV. SEC and JPMORGAN CHASE& CO, February 9, 2011 – Complaint.

     

    By virtue of servicing the 703 account, JPMC was required to monitor BLMIS.  It was this that led JPMC to uncover a number of red flags indicating that Madoff was engaging in fraud.

     

    Note: JPMC = JP Morgan & Chase, BLMIS = Bernard L Madoff Investment Securities.  This is the abbreviation used in writing long names of the parties invovlved.  Also note that in the title, ALL party names are CAPITALIZED.  This is the standard format required!  Just like all significant words in essay titles should have its first letter capitalized.

     

    A clearer and a concise way of writing is,

     

    By virtue of servicing the 703 account, JPMC was required had to monitor BLMIS.  It was this that this led JPMC to uncover a number of several red flags indicating that Madoff was engaging in fraud.

     

    The number on sign of verbiage: ?? More than any other sign, the word “of” will direct you to unnecessary words,

     

    In its discussion of the issue, XYZ recognized…

     

    Employees on this rig typically worked a twenty-one day rotation and stayed in Alaskaduring the pendency of the rotation.

     

    Note: that the Unnecessary words can appear on the either side of the “of”.

     

    Here is a link to get everyday tips in writing concise and clearer English.  Sorry if you cannot access the site for those from Mainland China. 


    I agree that being verbose is an enemic problem in academic and corporate writing. However, it's not uncommo to see 'write simply and to the point', which I think means a) avoid complex language/constructions and b) don't procrastinate. You could write simply without being precise, for example, and you could be precise even though writing with complex language. 


    On the other hand, I think that being hyper laconic or brusque can lead to loss of detail, or fail to convey the whole picture. For example, you might think that 'of the issue' is superfluous in 'its discussion of the issue', but unless its specified previously that they are discussing the issue, how are we to know what they are talking about?


    Another example:


    Jonny reclined extravagantly on the weathered, archaic looking bench.


    You might say, 'dear me, what a lot of unneccessary verbiage', and change it to


    Jonny sat down on the bench.


    In terms of what was done, it is the same thing. However, we lose the manner in which he sat, his attittude and an understanding of how the bench appeared. This may or may not be important, depending on who needs to know that Jonny sat there and why, but it is not a priori superfluous.


    There is no spelling error in the sentence and the grammar is correct.  So what is wrong with it?  The answer is...  It's verbose and redundant. It should be,

     

    Write simply to the point.

     

    Verbosity and conciseness have the place.  In the introduction of this note, the first paragraph can be concisely written as, What is wrong with the following sentence?

     

    However, these two are different cases.  In the first one, the word, simply, is redundant and superfluous.  It adds no value to the sentence.  In the second case, verbosity gives the tone to a warmer and friendlier atmosphere.  Another example of how being concise leads to different reactions,

     

    Come here vs Please come here.

     

    Even though both mean the same thing, one is a command and the other is a plea.  Depending on the context, it changes everything.  This entry does not deal with this sort of cases; it deals with how to write simply and concisely without changing the tone.  This is especially true in legal writing which tends to be redundant and verbosity-ridden.

     

    How should the following piece rewritten?  It was written by a lawyer in the case of SECURITIES INVESTOR CORP vs BERNARD L MADOFF INV. SEC and JPMORGAN CHASE& CO, February 9, 2011 – Complaint.

     

    By virtue of servicing the 703 account, JPMC was required to monitor BLMIS.  It was this that led JPMC to uncover a number of red flags indicating that Madoff was engaging in fraud.

     

    Note: JPMC = JP Morgan & Chase, BLMIS = Bernard L Madoff Investment Securities.  This is the abbreviation used in writing long names of the parties invovlved.  Also note that in the title, ALL party names are CAPITALIZED.  This is the standard format required!  Just like all significant words in essay titles should have its first letter capitalized.

     

    A clearer and a concise way of writing is,

     

    By virtue of servicing the 703 account, JPMC was required had to monitor BLMIS.  It was this that This led JPMC to uncover a number of several red flags indicating that Madoff was engaging in fraud.

     

    The number on sign of verbiage:  More than any other sign, the word “of” will direct you to unnecessary words,

     

    In its discussion of the issue, XYZ recognized…

     

    Employees on this rig typically worked a twenty-one day rotation and stayed in Alaskaduring the pendency of the rotation.

     

    Note: that the Unnecessary words can appear on the either side of the “of”.

     

    Here is a link to get everyday tips in writing concise and clearer English.  Sorry if you cannot access the site for those from Mainland China. 


    http://www.writetothepoint.com

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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