- Remove Deadwood -
When we use unneeded words or expressions, we draw attention away from what we want to say. Such superfluous expressions also make our sentences unnecessarily long. Because we want to avoid distracting or boring the reader, we should always strive to remove the deadwood:
The pilgrim's elephant sensed the presence of the sadhu.
The pilgrim's elephant sensed the sadhu.
The sadhu will make the actual offering.
The sadhu will make the offering.
Our existing plan is to film the procession to the ghats.
Our plan is to film the procession to the ghats.
If the rain actually stops, we will also go tan ourselves on the ghats.
If the rain stops, we will also go tan ourselves on the ghats.
We are actively studying the river.
We are studying the river.
Notice in each of the first sentences that the underlined deadwood provides little content. In most instances it only misleads. But when the deadwood is removed, the sentence is much more readable.