Sunday, 26 February 2012 06:08

Defusing Logic Bombs - Tutorial 2

Written by 

The verbosity of business writing includes oddities that I call ‘logic bombs’. These are words that are not just excess to the writer’s requirements, but technically illogical. So logic bombs weaken your proposition two ways:

1. They make it harder to read by increasing the average words per sentence.

2. They make it harder to understand by bending logic.

Here’s a sentence from the website of a university publishing house. I’ve highlighted the logic bomb.

We are developing a new journals program and are actively commissioning new titles and working with publishers to develop existing titles. (21 words)

It is logically impossible to ‘develop a new journals program’ without ‘commissioning new titles’. Either phrase is illogically redundant, so either can go. I would cut the first one, because the second talks about ‘titles’, and this is the topic of the final phrase.

With the logic bomb defused, we have this:

We are commissioning new titles and working with publishers to develop existing titles. (13 words)

Business writing that has been cleared of logic bombs is easier for your readers to read and understand. That makes it easier for them to respect and believe what you’re trying to tell them.

Watch the video tutorial to see how I defuse other logic bombs. Thanks again for visiting.

Media

Defusing Logic Bombs - Tutorial 2 John Hancock

Wordpress Blog

Twitter

Become a Fan

John Hancock

John Hancock, author