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Simplicity - Writing with flair Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.

Have I avoided fancy, flowery and formal language?

Eg. 1.
In the light of the extent, scale, range and immeas­urable complexity of the uncert­ainties that persist on the economic front, we conclude, having evaluated the country's mid-to­-lo­ng-term prospects, that multif­arious scenarios could yet unfold.

With so much uncert­ainty surrou­nding the economy, anything could happen.

Eg. 2.
Objective consid­era­tions of contem­porary phenomena compel the conclusion that success or failure in compet­itive activities exhibits no tendency to be commen­surate with innate capacity but that a consid­erable element of the unpred­ictable must invariably be taken into account.

People aren't necess­arily born succes­sful.

Eg. 3.
Delta Air Lines has implem­ented a number of new initia­tives to boost ticket sales on domestic routes.

Delta Air Lines has taken steps to boost ticket sales on domestic routes.
Delta Air Lines is trying to boost ticket sales on domestic routes.

Is my writing tight?

Eg. 1.
I will provide you with an update by the end of the day.

I will update you by the end of the day.

I'll update you today.

Eg. 2.
The specific point I am seeking to make is that the colours red and grey go well together.

The point / am seeking to make is that the colours red and grey go well together.

My point is that the colours red and grey go well together.

The colours red and grey go well together.

Red and grey go well together.

Red and grey match.

Eg. 3.
I am seeking a new job at this moment in time.

I am seeking a new job at this time.
I'm seeking a new job.

Eg. 4.
If there are any points on which you require explan­ation or further partic­ulars we shall be glad to furnish such additional details as may be required by telephone.

If you have any questions, please phone.

Eg. 5.
I will take your proposal into consid­era­tion.

I'll consider your proposal.

Short forms

At the present time... now or currently
Exhibits a tendency to... tends to
In view of the fact that... because
A large number of... many

Do I avoid using redundant words?

Eg 1.
As Bob opened his present, he got an unexpected surprise: inside the box was the red shirt he'd always wanted.

As Bob opened his present, he got a surprise: inside the box was the red shirt he'd always wanted.

Eg. 2.
The project, a joint collab­oration between two rival firms, was a huge success.

The project, a collab­oration between two rival firms, was a huge success.

Eg. 3.
Michael's boss summoned Paul to his office to discuss the depart­ment's future plans.

Michael's boss summoned Paul to his office to discuss the depart­ment's plans.

Eg. 4.
Passive sentences harm not only clarity but also simplicity and evocat­iveness as well.
Passive sentences harm not only clarity but also simplicity and evocat­ive­ness.
Passive sentences harm not only clarity but simplicity and evocat­iveness as well.

Eg. 5.
The athlete, born in China, set a new record at the last Olympics.

The athlete, born in China, set a record at the last Olympics.

Have I used any needlessly long words?

Eg. 1.
Hema's manner of talking demons­trated a disregard for social graces.

Hema's way of talking showed a disregard for social graces.

Eg. 2.
Section 2.5 of the document demons­trates the manner in which surfaces are expected to be cleaned after use.

Section 2.5 of the document shows the way surfaces should be cleaned after use.

Eg. 3.
I plan to go shopping today and acquire a new pair of shoes.

I plan to go shopping today and buy a new pair of shoes.

Eg. 4.
Every day, I commence my journey to work on the bus before boarding a train.

Every day, I start my journey to work on the bus before boarding a train.


Have I gone into too much detail?

Have I gone into too much detail or given too many examples or explan­ations?


Hydraulic fracking, or "­fra­cki­ng,­" is the process of drilling into the ground and injecting fluid at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks to release the natural gas inside them. Since the rocks tend to be buried deep within the earth, the gas is brought to the surface through pipes that often have to pass through water systems — where there is the danger of the gas contam­inating the water supply as it is extracted.

Fracking, a process where natural gas is sucked from deeply buried rocks, can be hazardous to the enviro­nment if extracted vapour leaks into the water supply as it's pumped to the earth's surface.


Do I use any double negatives without good reason?

Eg. 1
He was not certain that he would not make a mess of it.

He thought he might make a mess of it.
He worried he might make a mess of it.

Eg. 2
It wasn't that John didn't care about Jenny; he just didn't love her.

John cared about Jenny, but he didn't love her.


Have I described any entities in a longwinded way?

Eg. 1
Air New Zealand's intern­ational longhaul flights division is doing a lot better.

Air New Zealand's longhaul division is doing a lot better.

Eg. 2
This is the US company's first overseas partne­rship since it acquired Italian gourmet food concept store chain Gourmet Foods.

This is the US company's first overseas partne­rship since it acquired Italy's Gourmet Foods chain.


Eg. 3
Malcolm Turnbull became leader of the Common­wealth of Australia in 2015.

Malcolm Turnbull became Austra­lia's leader in 2015.


Eg. 4
Chinese Visitors Boost Heathrow Airport Traffic Volumes

Chinese Visitors Boost Heathrow Airport Traffic
(OR) Chinese Boost Heathrow Airport Traffic


Have I avoided ceremo­ny-­cap­ita­lising words?

Have I avoided pointless ceremony — such as capita­lising words?


Eg. 1
North Korea's repeated Nuclear tests have been trying the Chinese Govern­ment's patience.

North Korea's repeated nuclear tests have been trying the Chinese govern­ment's patience.


Eg. 2
India's Central Bank kept Interest Rates on hold this month.

India's central bank kept interest rates on hold this month.


Eg. 3
The victory, on this occasion, went to Manchester United Football Club.

The victory, on this occasion, went to Manchester United football club.

NOT: The victory went to manchester united football club on this occasion.


Eg. 4
The Treasury, the Central Bank and the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, together expressed concern over the high Australian Dollar and the stress it is causing to the Nation's manufa­ctu­rers.

The treasury, the central bank and the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, together expressed concern over the high Australian dollar and the stress it is causing to the nation's manufa­ctu­rers.


Eg. 5
Michael Dent, Vice President of Michelin Magnets, resigned today.

Michael Dent, vice president of Michelin Magnets, resigned today.


Do I unnece­ssarily repeat any ideas or points?

Orig­inal.
Five new contes­tants will be selected before the end of June to take part in next season's Top Chef, after several partic­ipants — including Tom Pickle, Sophie Ding and Ram Chet — abruptly quit the show in March. The progra­mme's London­-based producer, Mark Sanders, told reporters on Monday that executives on the show were working hard to identify suitable contes­tants to replace the five dropouts, who he said had sadly departed on bad terms. "­We're determined to get the highes­t-q­uality contes­tants to make up for the talent lost," Mark Sanders said on Monday. He added: "We expect to declare our new contes­tants by the end of June, of which there will be five in total."­ Pickle, Ding and Chet left the show back in March amid disagr­eements with its producer, Sanders, over the amount of prize money to be awarded to next season's winner of Top Chef, a popular primetime programme produced in London.


1st revision
Pickle, Ding and Chet left the show back in March amid disagr­eements with its producer, Sanders, over the amount of prize money to be awarded to next season's winner of Top Chef, a popular primetime programme produced in London.

Pickle, Ding and Chet left the show amid disagr­eements with its producer over the amount of prize money to be awarded to next season's winner of Top Chef, a popular primetime programme.

Pickle, Ding and Chet left the show amid disagr­eements with its producer over the amount of prize money to be awarded to the winner of Top Chef, a popular primetime programme.

Pickle, Ding and Chet left the show amid disagr­eements with its producer over the amount of prize money to be awarded to the winner of the popular primetime programme.


2nd revision
Five new contes­tants will be selected before the end of June to take part in next season's Top Chef, after several partic­ipants —including Tom Pickle, Sophie Ding and Ram Chet — abruptly quit the show in March.

The progra­mme's London­-based producer, Mark Sanders, told reporters on Monday that executives on the show were working hard to identify suitable contes­tants to replace the five dropouts, who he said had sadly departed on bad terms.

"­We're determined to get the highes­t-q­uality contes­tants to make up for the talent lost," Sanders said.

Pickle, Ding and Chet left the show amid disagr­eements with its producer over the amount of prize money to be awarded to the winner of the popular primetime programme.


Do any sentences carry thoughts that are too long?

Do any sentences carry thoughts that are too long, or are any weighed down with sub clauses?

Eg. 1.
Tom Cruise has confirmed rumours that a sequel to 1986 classic Top Gun is in the works, with filming to begin "­pro­bably in the next year," he revealed, while on a promot­ional tour for his upcoming film Mummy, telling Australian morning show Sunrise, "It is definitely happen­ing."

Breaking Down

1/ Tom Cruise has confirmed rumours that a sequel to 1986 classic Top Gun is in the works.
2/ Filming is to begin "­pro­bably in the next year," he said.
3/ He revealed the news while on a promot­ional tour for his upcoming film, Mummy.
4/ He told Australian morning show Sunrise, "It is definitely happen­ing."

Revision 1
Tom Cruise has confirmed rumours that a sequel to 1986 classic Top Gun is in the works, with filming to begin "­pro­bably in the next year." Cruise revealed the news while on a promot­ional tour for his upcoming film, Mummy, telling Australian morning show Sunrise, "It is definitely happen­ing."

Revision 2
Tom Cruise has confirmed rumours that a sequel to 1986 classic Top Gun is in the works. Filming will begin "­pro­bably in the next year," he revealed, while on a promot­ional tour for his upcoming film, Mummy. Cruise told Australian morning show Sunrise, "It is definitely happen­ing."

Revision 3
Tom Cruise has confirmed rumours that a sequel to 1986 classic Top Gun is in the works. Filming will begin "­pro­bably in the next year," he revealed. Cruise made the remarks while on a promot­ional tour for his upcoming film, Mummy. He told Australian morning show Sunrise that the sequel was "­def­initely happen­ing."

Eg. 2.
Honda faces growing compet­ition in the US, where economic conditions remain weak, from Mazda, a rival from Japan. Mazda recently teamed up with Ford, a North American automobile manufa­cturer, whose earnings have been severely dented by Europe's debt crisis.

1/ ...where economic conditions remain weak
2/ ...a rival from Japan
3/..a North American automobile manufa­ctu­rer...

Honda faces growing compet­ition from Japanese rival Mazda in the US, where economic conditions remain weak. Mazda recently teamed up with North American carmaker Ford, whose earnings have been severely dented by Europe's debt crisis.


Do I avoid using implied words?

Eg 1.
He vowed to carry out an invest­igation of the criminal gang's activi­ties.

He vowed to invest­igate the criminal gang's activi­ties.
He vowed to invest­igate the criminal gang.

Eg. 2.
The room was quite dark and dimly lit.

The dimly lit room was quite dark.

Eg. 3
Nokia continues to maintain a close watch on regulatory develo­pments.

Nokia continues to watch regulatory develo­pments.


Have I avoided ceremony — excessive punctu­ation?

Have I avoided pointless ceremony — excessive punctu­ation - comma or quote marks around them unnece­ssa­rily?


Eg. 1
Should the worst-case scenario, in fact, unfold, it would be imposs­ible, unfort­una­tely, in this instance, to guarantee, in a reasonable amount of time, the safe passage of the refugees, despite our best intent­ions.

Should the worst-case scenario, in fact, unfold it would be impossible unfort­una­tely, in this instance, to guarantee in a reasonable amount of time the safe passage of the refugees, despite our best intent­ions.

(OR) Should the worst-case scenario in fact unfold, it would be impossible in this instance, unfort­una­tely, to guarantee in a reasonable amount of time the safe passage of the refugees, despite our best intent­ions.


Eg. 2
The "­con­tro­ver­sy" surrou­nding this year's Pride march is difficult to compre­hend.

The contro­versy surrou­nding this year's Pride march is difficult to compre­hend.


Eg. 3
There is a real danger that the banking system will collapse if the "­pol­itical interf­ere­nce­" we are seeing continues.

There is a real danger that the banking system will collapse if the political interf­erence we are seeing continues.