Wright's Aerials

Supernumerated verbosity

The hardest thing in writing is to reduce the word count, but it can often improve the end result greatly. In the world of industry and commerce, however, many unfortunate managers have to produce a document of some sort with no real idea of how to go about it. All too often they fall into the trap of imagining that the more words they use the better.

I had a job at an outpost of a large organisation, and to my surprise I was shunted into a waiting room for quite a long time. On the coffee table was a document, intended for staff use. Here's an extract:

NOTE: The canteen impact assessment review has been moved to a later date in the calendar, due to foreseen operational circumstances. It is decided that due to the implementation of a new service provision surrounding canteen provisions the full impact assessment should be conducted upon implementation of the new system and therefore at a later date.

I was bored. I was a bit irritated at the delay. I had a pen. I put a line across the 56 words above and scribbled below them the following 18 words:

The canteen impact assessment review has been postponed until the new service provision for canteens is in place.

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