¿What is it?When writing, it is important to keep your messagesconcise. What does concise mean? “go straight to thepoint”. As a reader, we don’t need to have to wadethrough a four line sentence in order to figure out whatyou mean.Concise writing is respectful of the reader’s time.
If you want me to meet you for lunch, send me an e-mail that says:“Lily, would you like to meet me for dinner today at night?” This first example tells me exactly what the writer wants, and I don’t have to request further clarification to answer the request.
“Lily, I am getting hungry. I was wondering if you were hungry too. When people are hungry, that is a sign that they need to eat. Since we might both be hungry, I was perhaps wondering if you might care to join me for a meal in the near future?” The second example is long and hard to follow. I refer to this as a blah, blah, blah message. The writer doesn’t just come out and ask the question. Maybe I will have to seek further clarification in order to answer.
When you write an e-mail request, stop and read it before you press send. Ask yourself the following questions: Is my request direct and to the point? Are there extra words in the request? Is there a more direct way to phrase the request? Can the reader answer the question without having to request clarification?
Vague generalitiesGeneralization is: broad statement without specific detail. an extension of the concept to less-specific criteria. a foundational element of logic and human reasoning.Vague generalities are general statements which are not detailed. (obvious statements)E.g.All animals that have feathers are birds.
Idle words In speaking , we allow ourselves many extra words. This habit often carries over into writing. As you edit, test each word to see whether you can eliminate it. If the meaning of the sentence does not change, leave it out.Automatic and other wordy phrases: phrases that contribute nothing to a discussion. They appear at the beginnings of sentences. If you find a wordy phrase, remove it and reread the passage.
Wordy Phrase Concise wordingAt this point in time Now,thenDo to the fact that becauseIn spite of the fact that Even thoughIn case ifin any case anywayIn the final analysis finallyCommunicate to/with tell
Useless modifiers: such us obviously, absolutely, fortunately, hopefully, really and totally .They make a sentence sound forceful.
RedundancyPublic spealerks are often advised “Tell them whatyou’re going to say; say it; then tell them whatyou said.”In speaking ,repetition helps listeners understand.When you write, try to make your point once,concisely.Needless repetition is called Redundancy.
Redundant phrases First ever Full and complete Past history Red in color Final result Personal opinion Each and every
Elliptical constructions Some special clauses in English, in which certain words are omitted. They help avoid unneeded repetition. Mary couldn’t complete the course, but I don’t know why (she couldn’t complete the course). Mike has two children, and Joe has five (Joe has five children).
Euphemism An inoffensive word or phrase that is replacing one considered harsh or indelicate. Our conversations are full of euphemisms,specially when we are talking about money, death and sex. My grandmother passed away last week (died) The newspaper said the president was tired and emotional. (drunk)
What it Says What it MeansAdult entertainment PornographyBatting for the other side HomosexualBetween jobs UnemployedBun in the oven PregnantComfort women ProstituteDisinformation LieDo your business DefecateFull bodied ObeseIndisposed Sick
ConclusionTo help the reader understand what you write, make yourwriting direct (expressing ideas plainly) and concise(using few unnecessary words). It will help you avoidbeing imprecise and wordy.
Exercises At this point in time we cant ascertain the reason as to why the screen door was left open.
We dont know why the screen door was left open.
My sister, who is employed as a nutritionist at the University of Michigan, recommends the daily intake of megadoses of Vitamin C.
Mysister, a nutritionist at theUniversity of Michigan,recommends daily megadoses ofVitamin C.