Saturday, March 4, 2006


I've been meaning to post this for three years. I am a man of few words. I appreciate brevity. When I start a book, I always thumb to the back to see how many pages it is. If it's more than four or five hundred (it often is, no matter how trivial the theme) I sigh or cluck or tsk tsk. This is when my wife takes the book and bonks me on the head with it.

I assume most editors are lazy. They perform a valuable service, but not enough of it.

I also am a long time hater of business-speak. Three years and a few months ago, I ran across a memo posted in my company's breakroom that set off both my verbosity and anti-corp-speak alarms. It was full of excess words and pompous, official sounding phrases. So I edited it. And left it there. After a couple of weeks, I took it down for posterity.
Memo with lots of deleted text

In case you can't make out the text in the image above, here is a transcript.
Please be advised that during building inspections it was noted that tenants are smoking in the building's public stairwells. Please be further advised that this in(sic) direct violation ofviolates New York City Fire Codes and may result in violations and / or fines.

We greatly appreciate your anticipated cooperation. Should you have any concerns or require any further information, please feel free to contact me in the management office at 212-XXX-XXXX. 
In case you're curious, I cut about 4 words in 7 from the body of the memo. It was so easy to trim the fat, using only cuts and one paste. Much better.

No comments:

Post a Comment