Quarkside

22/01/2013

Wordflab Surgery: cut out adjectives and adverbs

Filed under: Standards — lenand @ 10:48 am
Tags: ,

Governance encompasses writing. If a word can be omitted, then it is a blessing for the reader.  The splattering of adjectives like “digital” and “cyber” is not helpful.  Ask for a definition of a “digital city”, for example, and you may get a “cyber city” as reply.  Which city would be prepared to admit it was “non-digital”?  A “cyber crime” is a crime and should be treated as such.

Here’s some support from a writing Web site.  They quote Mark Twain,

“If you catch an adjective, kill it!”,

who also wrote,

“I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”

Authors and sub-editors of public sector communications should act upon this advice.  Take time to write concisely.

 
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