Home > Uncategorized > Attack on wordiness, Friday lab (151)

Attack on wordiness, Friday lab (151)

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  1. Kiah Hasett
    September 22, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    from “Shift for Goldman and Morgan Marks the End of an Era,” by Andrew Ross Sorkin and Vikas Bajaj
    Published: September 21, 2008

    Original, at 48 words: Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, the last big independent investment banks on Wall Street, will transform themselves into bank holding companies subject to far greater regulation, the Federal Reserve said Sunday night, a move that fundamentally reshapes an era of high finance that defined the modern Gilded Age.

    10 words later:
    “Executives at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley voluntarily subjected the companies to increased Federal Reserve regulation, transforming the Investment banks into bank holding companies on Sunday. The move marks the end of the financial modern Gilded Age.” 38 words

  2. Kate Veik
    September 23, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    Daily Nebraskan | 9/23/08
    “Regent debate touches on aid, faculty issues” by Jaime Klein.

    Original: In his final two minutes, Clare told the audience what his response is when asked why he wants to be a regent.

    My change: In his final minutes, Clare addressed his interest in becoming a regent.

    I would change the sentence because it sounded messy and hurried. I don’t think it reads very well when the writer puts in “…when asked…” There are so many other more creative and more succinct ways of wording the sentence.

  3. Charlie Pfister
    September 24, 2008 at 1:26 am

    reuters.com- 9/14/08

    Headline says “Obama fundraising rolls on with new record”

    I know I kind of stole this from the explanation paragraph when it said ‘new record,’ but when I actually found an article that said ‘new record,’ I felt I should use it.

    I believe the headline should instead read “Obama’s record fundraising rolls on”

  4. Kylie Kinley
    September 24, 2008 at 4:12 am

    Lincoln Journal Star
    Tuesday, September 23, 2008

    Council OKs porch-couch prohibition
    by Deena Winter

    He couldn’t figure out why it would matter to city leaders.
    “I don’t know why it would make a difference,” he said.

    The quote and the sentence proceeding it say exactly the same thing. The quote needs to be introduced better or left out. I would leave it out because I don’t think the quote says anything worth quoting.

  5. Travis Beck
    September 24, 2008 at 11:59 pm

    The Lincoln Journal Star, Omaha World Herald, or any other newspaper that covered the safe haven law since its debut a couple weeks ago.

    The title, “safe haven” is redundant

    “Haven” means “a safe place,” “shelter,” or “refuge — all safe things.

    It may sound awkward simply referring to it as the “haven” law, but could have at least used a different word that didn’t mean the same thing. I would hate to find myself in an dangerous haven.

  6. Logan Thompson
    September 25, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    “Lawmakers: Financial bailout agreement reached”
    Sep 25 02:58 PM US/Eastern
    Associated Press (on Breitbart)

    Original: The core of the plan proposed by the administration just a few days ago envisions the government buying up sour assets of shaky financial firms in a bid to keep them from going under and to stave off a potentially severe recession.

    My version: In efforts to avoid severe recession, the administration proposed a plan in which the government would buy the assets of failing financial firms.

    Their original sentence is 42 words long, which means probably fewer than 10% of people will understand it (of the ones who even care enough to try). It has a lot of extra adjectives (“shaky,” “sour”). It also includes not-so-common phrases like “stave off,” which can be distracting. I removed those and left in the essential parts.

  7. Megan Nichols
    September 26, 2008 at 2:25 am

    FBI: Evangelist Alamo arrested in child sex probe

    By JON GAMBRELL
    Associated Press Writer

    Original: LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — FBI agents arrested evangelist and convicted tax evader Tony Alamo at an Arizona motel Thursday, alleging days after raiding the Arkansas headquarters of his ministry that he took minors across state lines for sexual purposes.

    Revised: FBI agents arrested evangelist and convicted tax evader Tony Alamo at an Arizona motel Thursday, alleging that he took minors across state lines for sexual purposes.

    I removed “days after raiding the Arkansas headquarters of his ministry” because it seems awkward. The reporter mentions the raid in Arkansas later in the article, so it seems unnecessary to put it in the first paragraph.

  8. Lauren Garcia
    September 26, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    MySpace tries to strike new chord in digital movement
    September 25, 2008
    Associated Press

    The original: The catch: the music can be played only on personal computers connected to the Internet and listeners have to tolerate advertising splashed across the screen.

    My change: the can be played only on personal computers and listeners have to tolerate advertising.

    I took out “connected to the Internet” from the first part of the sentence because it’s a given that computers will be connected to the internet if the browsers can be on MySpace. And I took away “splashed across the screen” which refers to the advertising, because again, advertising has to be done on the screen. The wordiness throughout the article definitely gets in the way of readers enjoying it.

  9. Lauren Garcia
    September 26, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    MySpace tries to strike new chord in digital movement
    September 25, 2008
    Associated Press

    The original: The catch: the music can be played only on personal computers connected to the Internet and listeners have to tolerate advertising splashed across the screen.

    My change: The catch: the music can be played only on personal computers and listeners have to tolerate advertising.

    I took out “connected to the Internet” from the first part of the sentence because it’s a given that computers will be connected to the internet if the browsers can be on MySpace. And I took away “splashed across the screen” which refers to the advertising, because again, advertising has to be done on the screen. The wordiness throughout the article definitely gets in the way of readers enjoying it.

  10. Tawny Burmood
    September 26, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    Lincoln Journal Star
    September 24, 2008

    “Wireless phone numbers will not be made public”
    By Nancy Hicks

    Original first paragraph: No one is about to make wireless phone numbers public, despite the chain e-mail that has been floating around for years, according to the Nebraska Public Service Commission.

    Original second paragraph: So there is little danger your cell phone number will get into the hands of telemarketers, as the e-mail suggests.

    Original third paragraph: In fact, it’s largely against the law for telemarketers to call cell phones, said Cheryl Elton, PSC consumer advocate.

    I would delete the second paragraph. It already states in the first paragraph that the email is wrong, and cell phone numbers will not be made public. In the third paragraph it states that it is against the law for telemarketers to call cell phones. The second paragraph is then redundant and not necessary to transition to the third paragraph.

  11. Jessie Evertson
    September 26, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    Lincoln Journal Star
    September 26
    Father who left nine kids said he was overwhelmed
    AP

    Orginal first three paragraphs:
    OMAHA — A widower who left nine of his 10 children at a hospital under Nebraska’s safe haven law said he was overwhelmed by his family responsibilities and had to do something to keep them safe.

    The man’s wife died in early 2007, shortly after giving birth to their 10th child. The man told police he hasn’t worked since July and was struggling to make ends meet.

    So, the man took his five sons and four of his daughters to Creighton University Medical Center Wednesday night to surrender them, so they would be safe. The kids Staton abandoned range in age from 1 to 17; he did not bring his oldest daughter, who is now 18

    They call him “the man” throughout the entire article, which I think can be switched with he or his after the first mention of him. Also, it says, “The kids Staton abandoned…” I wonder if Staton is his real name? Did they mean to say “the man”? If that is his real name they should decide to either leave his name out of the entire story or put his name in at the begining.

  12. Amber Johnson
    September 26, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    From USA Today, Friday September 26th
    “It’s on: McCain, Obama to debate

    Republican John McCain will attend tonight’s presidential debate in Oxford, Miss., his campaign confirmed Friday, assuring the session will be held no matter what the outcome of talks over the government’s proposed bailout of Wall Street.

    My version reads:
    Republican John McCain will attend tonight’s presidential debate in Oxford, Miss., his campaign confirmed Friday. McCain assured the session would be held despite talks over postponing the debate due to the government’s proposed bailout of Wall Street.

    I just thought the introductory paragraph was too long for my liking so I made it into two separate sentences. The first sentence is directly to the point, that McCain will debate tonight. The 2nd paragraph simply sums up why he was considering postponing the debate.

  13. Jenna Gibson
    September 26, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    On the front page of the Daily Nebraskan on September 26, an article on gas prices has some redundancy in the lede.

    It said, “The price of gasoline is forcing many Americans to hang up their car keys and start driving a little less.”

    I would take out the cliche of “hanging up the car keys”, since people are not completely giving up on driving and since the next clause says basically the same thing. Also, the gas story is nothing new, so I would take a different angle, one that fits in better with the rest of the story. My version would read:

    “With gas prices discouraging excess driving, federal fuel taxes take a hit, leaving road construction funds in a bind.”

  14. Kara Brown
    September 26, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    In a review of the Lincoln Calling music festival in the Daily Nebraskan on Monday, September 22, features a lede that is extremely wordy:

    Lincoln is no longer calling. The city streets that only yesterday rang out with the sweet sounds of local music spanning almost every conceivable genre are now silent but for the drunken ravings of Brother’s patrons. You may hear a tune here and there, but not the all-venue, all-night sonic inundation of the week and weekend previous.

    The first sentence is a little cliche, given the title of the festival and article (“Lincoln Calling successful”). Something that isn’t reiterated in both the name of the article and the event would be a better attention grabber.

    Perhaps starting some variation of the second or third sentences would be better. However, those sentences are very wordy and a little bit ridiculous — the streets themselves never “rang out” because the concerts were indoors. I would suggest cutting out about two-thirds of the words:

    Lincoln rang with notes of local music spanning almost every genre yesterday, in a variety of shows in many venues.
    But that’s all silent now.

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