Saturday, April 10, 2010

A plea for simple language

A considerable portion of the professional and academic writing that comes across my desk uses really inflated language, a language intended to impress more than to communicate. In my Writing Improvement classes, I often give out the following list of common proverbs that have been written with such language. While it's a fun puzzle to sort out, my intention is really to encourage them not to use this kind of vocabulary in their writing. Happy decoding!

  1. t is fruitless to indoctrinate a superannuated canine with innovative maneuvers.
  2. Scintillate, scintillate, asteroids minified.
  3. Members of an avian species of identical plumage congregate.
  4. Pulchritude possesses sole cutaneous profundity.
  5. It is fruitless to become lachrymose over precipitately departed lacteal fluid.
  6. Freed from incrustation of grime is contiguous to rectitude.
  7. The stylus is more potent than the claymore.
  8. Eschew the implement of correction and vitiate the scion.
  9. The temperature of the aqueous intent of an unremittingly ogled saucepan does not reach 212°F.
  10. All articles that coruscate with resplendence are not truly auriferous.
  11. Where there are visible vapors having their prevalence in ignited carbonaceous material, there is conflagration.
  12. Sorting on the part of mendicants must be interdicted.
  13. A plethora of individuals with expertise in culinary techniques vitiate the possible concoction produced by the steeping of certain comestibles.
  14. Eleemosynary deeds have the incipience intramurally.
  15. Male cadavers are incapable of yielding any testimony.
  16. Individuals who make their abode in vitreous edifices would be advised to refrain from catapulting petrous projectiles.
  17. Neophyte’s serendipity.
  18. Exclusive dedication to the necessitous chores without interlude of hedonistic diversion renders John one hebetudinous fellow.
  19. A revolving lithic conglomerate accumulates no congeries of small bryophytic plant.
  20. The person presenting the ultimate cachinnation possesses thereby the optimal cachinnation.
  21. Abstention from any aleatory undertaking precludes a potential escalation of the lucrative nature.
  22. Missiles of ligneous or petrous consistency have the potential of fracturing my osseous structure, but appellations will eternally remain innocuous.
  23. Persons of imbecilic nature divagate in parameter which cherubic entities approach with trepidation.
  24. Elementary sartorial techniques initially applied preclude repetitive actions to the square of three.
  25. Contingent upon primarily unfavorable termination, repetitively judicate anew.

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