Editing Strategy: Cut the Fat

Start with cutting “throat-clearing” phrases, phrases that lead up to the main point or–worse yet–those that dance around it and away from it.  The following two sentence openings are like a pitcher winding up but never throwing the pitch:  I would like to cite a good example to the effect that. . . or To illustrate my point of view, let me say that. . .No meaning really exists in all those words.  Instead, the meaning of the sentence comes AFTER the fat and gristle.

Two throat-clearing phrases that can easily be cut are there is and there are.  For instance, in this sentence, There are seven managers in this department who can sign purchase orders, the first two words can easily be cut leaving Seven managers in this department can sign purchase orders.

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