Home > Uncategorized > It’s the attack on wordiness

It’s the attack on wordiness

In “Championship Writing,”  writing coach Paula LaRocque says a writer’s worst enemies are deadwood and redundancies. By deadwood, she means words that “do no work.”  And redundancy means “words that do the same work.” We see examples of this frequently in stories. A sports writer uses “set a new record” when “set a record” would do. A reporter describes a location as “close proximity to” when “near” would work. Clutter turns readers off. Bill Luenig of the Kansas City Star offers 20 tips for reporters and editors on writing tight.

Your assignment for next week’s labs is to attack wordiness. Find an example of a redundancy or wordiness in a newspaper or on a news Web site. In your lab section (below), note the publication, the date, the example of cluttered writing. And briefly explain how you would change it. This is due at the beginning of your lab next week.

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  1. Anna Mostek
    September 26, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    I read an article from Tuesday’s Lexington Clipper-Herald:
    Spanish speaking teachers from Spain have the opportunity to come to the United States to teach for up to three years and provide a unique opportunity for students to learn about other cultures and parts of the world.

    (Link: http://www.lexch.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=20134102&BRD=284&PAG=461&dept_id=558509&rfi=6)

    This just sounds weird to me. For one, it’s a really long sentence and very wordy. I think I would rewrite it as follows: Students have a unique opportunity to learn about the the Spanish culture. Teachers from Spain are now able to come to the United States and teach up to three years thanks to a dual language program.

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