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Concise Report Writing (split from The importance or not of efflorescence on brick)


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On 4/11/2024 at 10:30 PM, Jim Katen said:

 

"Quick tip to make your writing more engaging: Never start a sentence with "There is." When you do, that sentence is entirely unnecessary. Instead of saying "There is <thing>." Just jump right into whatever it is that's a problem with this thing. For instance, you might write:

There is much efflorescence (white powder) at the east and back walls of the building. This is typically caused by excessive moisture coming into contact with the water soluble salts in the brick and/or mortar.

You can brighten it up even more by getting rid of two-for-one phrasing and unnecessary modifiers: 

There is much efflorescence (white powder) at the east and back walls of the building. This is typically caused by excessive moisture water coming into contact with moving through the water soluble salts in the brick and/or and mortar.

Finally, get rid of the passive voice:

At the east and back walls of the building, water entering and moving through the brick has caused efflorescence (white powder)." 

 

Much better. Thanks.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 4/11/2024 at 10:30 PM, Jim Katen said:

Quick tip to make your writing more engaging: Never start a sentence with "There is." When you do, that sentence is entirely unnecessary. Instead of saying "There is <thing>." Just jump right into whatever it is that's a problem with this thing.

This Katen guy pisses me off.  I've honed my report writing for 38 years and I'm quite satisfied with my current proficiency.  Then, Jim shows up and smacks me in the head with another (not obvious to me, but) important issue with my writing.  This isn't the first time he's done this to me. 

Thanks Jim, but blissfully ignorant is easier.

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13 hours ago, Bill Kibbel said:

This Katen guy pisses me off.  I've honed my report writing for 38 years and I'm quite satisfied with my current proficiency.  Then, Jim shows up and smacks me in the head with another (not obvious to me, but) important issue with my writing.  This isn't the first time he's done this to me. 

Thanks Jim, but blissfully ignorant is easier.

I know a guy on the west coast that deal in issues like this!  remember Bonnie Trenga? 

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Arlene Puentes subjected herself to 24 hours of CE at my little school. As a thank you (or maybe it was like offering a breath mint to someone with bad breath), she sent me a book titled, "On Writing Well" by William Zinsser. Throughout the text, Zinsser preaches that to write well, one must pare down, then pare down again, and then pare down more during the final edit. 

Her inscription said, "Jim Katen told me about this book; I thought you'd like it. Thanks, Arlene". 

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"Well, to articulate my thoughts with the utmost respect and caution, and without the slightest intention to tread upon the perspectives that might diverge from my own or to inadvertently dismiss the diverse views that others may hold dear, it is imperative, I believe, to approach this discourse with a nuanced consideration of various angles, ensuring a holistic examination that respects all contributory insights. Moreover, in endeavoring to distill my viewpoints through an objective lens—mindful, of course, of the myriad interpretations that this subject might invoke and striving to uphold a balanced discourse that transcends personal bias—I must confess, amidst this diligent cognitive excursion, that I have indeed, quite regrettably, lost the thread of the initial thought I intended to convey".

-Al Jensen (Lord Darrell Allen Jensen)

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