It’s January. Gym memberships are up; calories are down. But have you resolved to eliminate fat in your writing? Here is a practice session on writing more concisely. What would you edit?
1. Due to the fact that many of our customers are local, let’s first start by testing the promotion in the Northeast Ohio region.
2. The reason I contacted you was because you were highly recommended by several different friends, but as yet you have failed to respond.
3. As I reflect back on our recent departmental changes, I wish I had given consideration to redeploying both Joe and Emma.
Slimmed down versions
1. “Due to the fact that” is a wordy way to say “because.” “First start” is redundant. Northeast Ohio is a region, so “region” is superfluous. That leaves us this:
Because many of our customers are local, let’s start by testing the promotion in Northeast Ohio.
2. Watch out for sentences with combinations of “reason,” “because,” or “why.” In this one, “because” is all we need, so we can strike “the reason.” Set another alarm on “different” in uses like “several different.” If there are several, they are different. And although “as yet” does add some emphasis, we can delete it. The weight loss leaves us with this more pointed sentence:
I contacted you because you were highly recommended by several friends, but you have failed to respond.
3. “Reflect back” is redundant (as is “revert back”). “Given consideration to” can be replaced by “considered.” “Both” can be useful for emphasis (The movie was both suspenseful and comical), but here it adds little. So the attention to brevity yields this:
As I reflect on our recent departmental changes, I wish I had considered redeploying Joe and Emma.
Good luck with your weight loss program in 2016.
In addition to presenting workshops on writing in the workplace, Norm is a writer, editor, and writing coach. His 100+ Instant Writing Tips is a brief “non-textbook” to help individuals overcome common writing errors and write with more finesse and impact. Learn more at http://www.normfriedman.com/index.shtml.