How to fix this winner of Ann’s Bad Writing Contest
“Revving Up Readership” subscriber Burton St. John sent this sentence to Ann’s Bad Writing Contest:
“The relative importance of and relationships between design processes and production/delivery processes depend upon many factors, including the nature of the products and services, technology requirements, issues of modularity and parts commonality, customer and supplier relationships and involvement, product and service customization, and overall company strategy.”
To fix clumsy sentences like this one:
- Break up or cut sentences. At an unwieldy 46 words, this one would generate less than 10 percent comprehension.
- Replace long words with words of mostly one and two syllables.
- Read your copy aloud to a friend. If you can’t get through it without stopping to explain something, rework it until it’s easier to understand.