Peter Norton of NMS Wins Writing Contest (Marketing Memo, February, 2005)
Peter Norton, Webmaster at NMS Communications, has received a Barnes & Noble gift certificate for his "winning" submission to our 2004 Bad Writing Contest. Here is Peter's entry:
INFLATING TWO SENTENCES TO SIX SENTENCES
Contracts and other legal documents lend themselves to repetition and overly complex language.
Problem: In the above example XYZ is reluctant to say that they don't give refunds. Therefore, XYZ uses ponderous and repetitive language. Here is a summary of their termination policy:
Revision: If you cancel your maintenance contract, you will not receive a refund, and your maintenance contract will continue in effect until the Expiration Date. Furthermore, if you cancel your maintenance contract, you will be subject to XYZ's re-installation policies.
Reread reports and email messages before distributing them. Eliminate repetitive sentences, and recast unclear sentences. Ask someone else to review what you have written.
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