5 Sentences Rendered More Concise

By Mark Nichol

1. It is essential for management to have the ability to assess how good the organization is at embracing risk.

This is a case of a smothered verb—a verb converted into noun form, which complicates the sentence because a new verb must be conjured to accompany the newly formed noun. In this case, the simple verb phrase “be able” is sufficient: “It is essential for management to be able to assess how good the organization is at embracing risk.” The sentence can be further condensed to “It is essential that management be able to assess how well the organization embraces risk.” and even “Management needs to be (or, better yet, “must be”) able to assess how good the organization is at embracing risk.”

2. The process should consider factors arising from a change in business context and factors currently existing but not yet known.

Currently is almost invariably superfluous. In this context, as in most cases, existing is sufficient to set the sentence in the present: “The process should consider factors arising from a change in business context and factors existing but not yet known.” (Any verb in the present tense, in fact, will generally suffice.)

3. The authorities will be conducting an investigation into the incident.

Often, a sentence such as this one can use the simpler of the two forms of simple future tense: “The authorities will conduct an investigation into the incident.” Better yet, however, note the smothered verb and simplify to “The authorities will investigate the incident.”

4. The success of this comprehensive work hinges on attention to details and also the outcomes of work and decisions performed in the previous strategizing phase.

When also directly (or distantly) follows and, the adverb is redundant to the conjunction: “The success of this comprehensive work hinges on attention to details and the outcomes of work and decisions performed in the previous strategizing phase.”

5. The organization must decide at the planning stage whether or not these data points help provide a greater view of its risk profile.

When the phrase “whether or not” appears, the second and third words are likely extraneous: “The organization must decide at the planning stage whether these data points help provide a greater view of its risk profile.” The exception is when the phrase modifies a verb, as in “Whether or not we win, we’re still going to the playoffs,” where it modifies win. In other words, when “whether or not” means “regardless of whether,” retain the full phrase.

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1 Response to “5 Sentences Rendered More Concise”

  • Asha

    This will help me with my writing process. I know it is five steps to writing process. I am learning about effective writing process. I know have write more better. I am going to CTU. I know have to brainstorming first and fold my paper in four parts summarize. Then have prewritng my paper and get someone point view. Then let my teacher read my paper for grade.

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