Writing to the Point

Are you tired of short, direct, and simple sentences that seem to take forever to fill up a page?  Are you paid by the word?  In either case, you can benefit by increasing the number of words in your sentences and the bulk of your writing.  Also, it is easy if you just follow nine simple steps, many of which you may already know and practice.

To show how easily you can apply these steps, I will start with the following ludicrously short and simple sentence and increase its verbiage step by step.

More night jobs would keep youths off the streets.

Step 1: Begin to lengthen your statement by referring to studies, even if you are not aware of any studies.  After all, who really cares?  Also, if anyone challenges you, you can protect yourself by weaseling (see Step 5).

Studies have found that more night jobs would keep youths off the streets.

Step 2: Replace simple words like more, jobs, night, youths, and streets with multiple syllable words of
Latin or Greek origin.

Studies have found that additional nocturnal employment would keep adolescents off thoroughfares.

Step 3: Use sophisticated verbs, the vaguer, the better.  The verb found is much too clear and simple, whereas indicate, develop, and identify are excellent multi-purpose verbs with so many meanings that you can use them in almost any context to mean almost anything.  What precisely does indicate mean, anyway?  If you use identify or indicate, you can further lengthen your sentence by attaching the fact that to it.

Studies have identified the fact that additional nocturnal employment would keep adolescents off thoroughfares.

Step 4: Rely on such adjectives as available, applicable, and appropriate to lengthen sentences without changing or adding any meaning.  If possible, use various, one of the most meaningless of all the meaningless modifiers.

Various available applicable studies have identified the fact that additional appropriate nocturnal employment would keep adolescents off thoroughfares.

Step 5: Use weasel words as often as possible.  A number of is particularly useful because it can refer to any number at all: -9, 4.78, 0, 5 billion, you name it.  (For more effective weaseling, replace wills and woulds with cans and coulds.)

A number of various available applicable studies have generally identified the fact that additional appropriate nocturnal employment could usually keep adolescents off thoroughfares.

Step 6: Sprinkle your sentences with classic redundancies.

A number of various available applicable studies have generally identified the fact that additional appropriate nocturnal employment could usually keep juvenile adolescents off thoroughfares.

Step 7: Add meaningless “it is” and “there is/are” expressions, not only to lengthen your sentences but also to give them a scholarly ring.

There is no escaping the fact that it is considered very important to note that a number of various available applicable studies have generally identified the fact that additional appropriate nocturnal employment could usually keep juvenile adolescents off thoroughfares.

Step 8: For the precision that all good writing deserves, use legalisms, the more redundant, the better.

There is no escaping the fact that it is considered very important to note that a number of various available applicable studies have generally identified the fact that additional appropriate nocturnal employment could usually keep juvenile adolescents off thoroughfares, including but not limited to the time prior to midnight on weeknights and/or 2 a.m. on weekends.

Step 9: Use foreign words and phrases to lengthen and enliven your sentences.  Especially apt are Latinisms and other obscurities whose meanings have long been forgotten if they were ever known.

There is no escaping the fact that it is considered very important to note that a number of various available applicable studies ipso facto have generally identified the fact that additional appropriate nocturnal employment could usually keep juvenile adolescents off thoroughfares during the night hours, including but not limited to the time prior to midnight on weeknights and/or 2 a.m. on weekends.

So there you have it.  Following these nine steps, I have managed in no time to increase the number of words in my sentence nearly seven fold, well above the level of incomprehensibility.  Also, best of all, I have accomplished this feat with little or no change in meaning.