Sunday, June 13, 2004

From the brevity files
This was in one of my local papers today and cried out to be posted, being as it hits the wordiness trifecta -- three in one sentence.
About 20 wrecks occurred in a two-mile stretch of the westbound lanes of I-20 within a 90-minute period, said state Higway Patrol Cpl. J.R. Cribb.

Recast: About 20 wrecks happened along two miles of westbound I-20 within 90 minutes, said Higway Patrol Cpl. J. R. Cribb.
Why must we use police-speak?
(And, yes, "happened" is the better verb choice here, although I wouldn't change it unless I were changing something else.)

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