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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Criminal Sentence 168: Many Words That Say Little

From something I edited recently (it was about a construction project that enlarged the space of a gym):

"He needed to find a partner that could help him think about the dynamics of the environment based on the specific needs of his clients using the space."

This sentence is an example of the filler prose I object to. Writers who don't know what to say pack in a lot of important-sounding phrases that say nothing. There's nothing really grammatically wrong with this sentence, but I object to the end, which doesn't say much of anything. What specifically do his clients need? What dynamics are they talking about?

When you write something, try to be specific, not vague and general.

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