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Monday, July 14, 2008

Criminal Sentence 55: Vague To The Max

From an article about couples counseling:

"Tears are a frequent occurrence."

This is one of the vaguest sentences I've seen in a while. It doesn't state who is crying. Why not just say, "She cried a lot"? Unless you're writing a murder mystery and want to conceal someone's identity, please state who is doing what. Your readers will thank you.


Anonymous said...

"Tears are a frequent occurrence."

This sentence is not really vague, merely abstract, and probably quite clear in context. It could be a rhetorical variation for "The couples cry frequently." Granted, weak writing can overdo this. But again, without context, your complaint holds no water.

The Sentence Sleuth said...

You have a valid point. I should have included more of the original article.
Incomplete posts will not be a frequent occurrence.