Use Only As Many Words As ...



Use only as many words as you really need. Part of writing well is writing tightly, ruthlessly cutting dross. Most readers are busy people who want to find out the main points of your message, and fast. So strike out useless words and don’t be afraid to rewrite a sentence entirely.

For example:

(1) Striking out useless words – Wordiness often comes from trying to make a simple procedure sound impressive.

Compare these two statements:

  1. The firm does not intend to remove the lime trees but it is necessary to carry out pruning to the trees to keep them healthy.


  2. The firm does not intend to remove the lime trees but it is necessary to carry out pruning prune the trees to keep them healthy.

(2) Rewriting completely – When there are far too many words for the message, sometimes a rewrite is the only alternative.

Compare these two statements:

  1. Overestimating on one type of material could have a detrimental cost effect for the clients, depending on the prices in the Bill of Quantities.


  2. Overestimating on one type of material could cost the clients more, depending on the prices in the Bill of Quantities.



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Keep Sentences Short.
Use words your readers are likely to understand.
Use only as many words as you really need.
Prefer the active voice.
Use the clearest, liveliest verb to express your thoughts.
Use Vertical Lists to make complex materil understandable.
Keep Electronic Text Communication simple.
Put your points positively when you can.
Reduce cross-references to the minimum.
Try to avoid sexist usage.
Avoidable English Errors are so many.
Avoid fusty first sentences and formula finishes.
Put accurate punctuation at the heart of your writing.
Avoid being enslaved by seven writing myths.
Plan Before You Write.
Organize your material in a simple way.
Consider different ways of setting out your information.
Devote special effort to producing lucid instructions.
Use clear layout to present your plain words.





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