I recently purchased Journalistic Writing by Robert Knight. I’m not a journalist, but I’m sure some of his lessons transfer to other areas of non-fiction writing. At the end of the first chapter, the author presents the reader with a number of sentences that contain unneeded thats, there is’s, there are’s, etc.; the goal of the exercise is to rewrite the sentences without them. Here is my attempt.
There were half a dozen vintage airplanes standing in the foreground of the museum.
Half a dozen vintage airplanes stood in the foreground of the museum.
He said that there was a 13 percent decrease in drunk-driving citations on the state’s highways, roads and streets last year, but there was a substantial increase in the number of accidents blamed on drivers’ cell phone usage.
There was a surgeon working intently on a prone figure.
A surgeon was working intently on a prone figure.
The president said that making the country greener is part of his plan to increase jobs.
Around the world there a millions of children that are starving.
Millions of children around the world are starving.
There are three things that can happen when you drive through a yellow light, and two of them are bad.
The police officiers said that they had a warrant and they wanted to inspect the house for weapons and drugs, but there was a pit bull preventing them from entering the front door.
The police officers had a warrant and wanted to inspect the house for weapons and drugs, but a pit bull prevented them from entering the front door.
There was Yogi Berra who said that “it ain’t over ‘til it’s over”
Yogi Berra said: “it ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”
She quoted her grandfather, who said that “many a damned fool went to college.”
“Many a damned fool went to college,” her grandfather used to say.
The ambassador said that she wanted to know why there were not enough limousines waiting for members of the delegation.