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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Criminal Sentence 101: I Hate Wordy

From something I edited recently:

"She made a careful selection of the fabric's color."

There's nothing grammatically wrong with this sentence, but it's just a tad too wordy for my tastes. What is wordy? Wordy is using more words than you need.

Compare it to this:

"She carefully selected the fabric's color."

Six instead of nine words there.

This poor sentence uses what I often rail against: a nominalization. Nominalizations often omit who is doing the action:

"The selection of the fabric was necessary."

Who selected the fabric?

The usage of (hint hint) of nominalizations by everyone must stop! (Please.)

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