Tighten This! Challenge Sentence 49 [writing/editing game]

this-weeks-challenge-question-marcia-riefer-johnstonWelcome to the concise-writing game, Tighten This! Here’s Challenge Sentence 49, courtesy of Rhonda Bracey, who describes the audience as environmental scientists working for federal and state environmental regulatory authorities.

To monitor the potential impacts, [Company] carried out monitoring of benthic communities, including baseline surveys prior to installation, annual monitoring surveys during the installation activities, and two post-development surveys upon completion of installation.

Your revision: _______________________
[Scroll to the bottom and put your revision in a comment by Friday, May 27—the one-year anniversary of this game. Thanks, Larry Kunz, for noticing that. Put on your party hats, blow your horns, and jump in! Celebrate with us by submitting a comment, even if you never have before.]

🎉 🎉 🎉

Tips:

Last Week’s Challenge Sentence

In case you’re playing this game for the first time (welcome!), or in case you’ve had other things on your mind since you read the previous Challenge Sentence, here it is again:

Mapping keywords to steps in the buyer’s journey makes SEO more important in ongoing marketing initiatives and also shows leadership that there are steps in the process for achieving results in the most critical keyword opportunities.

Read on to hear thoughts from the game’s three judges: Larry Kunz (a seasoned technical writer and blogger who has participated in this game from the beginning), Ray (my husband), and me.

Larry’s Pick (Larry Kunz speaking)

“A bit on the cynical side” is how Tim Slager characterized his entry this week. I am shocked—shocked!—by the idea that somebody might blend marketing and cynicism.

shocked

“Shocked. Shocked!”
(Larry’s note: I’m always glad for an excuse to steal a line from Casablanca.)

In fact, Tim, if you ask me, that sentence needs a good dose of cynicism. The desperate sentence structure, laced with jargon, reveals a writer who lacks confidence in the message—or a message that was weak to start with.

'I'm shocked. Shocked!' says @Larry_Kunz. But is he? Click To Tweet

Only two of this week’s entries touch on the important idea that leadership needs to be convinced of something: Tim’s (he uses the word management) and Joan Somerville’s (implicitly, by referring to marketing initiatives, which come from the leaders).

Out of those two, Tim’s gets first prize. For its directness and, yes, for that bit of well-deserved cynicism. Well played, Tim.

Convince management that keyword results come in stages. Then lock them into a ongoing SEO plan by using different keywords for each stage of buying.

concise writing Tim

How did Marcia arrive at the translation formula in the spreadsheet above? See “Write Tight(er): Get to the Point and Save Millions.”

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Ray’s Pick (Ray Johnston speaking)

mapping keywords
steps in the buyer’s journey
SEO
important in ongoing marketing initiatives
steps in the process for achieving results
critical keyword opportunities

Buzzfest -> Snoozefest!

We’ve slogged only as far as ongoing marketing initiatives and already we thoroughly dislike whomever wrote this week’s sentence, and we don’t want to spend even a few seconds figuring out what message—if any—it conveys. I don’t often feel pity for the guys and gals in the C-suite—I mean, they’re right where they choose to be, after all—but when you think of anyone receiving the news that there are steps in the process for achieving results in the most critical keyword opportunities…

Achieving results in the most critical keyword opportunities?!? C’mon, man.

Let’s see what’s in the mailbag!

Well … wow. Small turnout this week, but we’ll take quality over quantity any time. Nice job, everyone.

Tim! Yeah, maybe a touch cynical, but cynical and SEO go together like strawberries and raspberries … and cream … and huckleberry syrup … on sourdough pancakes … which happens to be your prize this week.

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Marcia’s Pick (Marcia Johnston speaking)

Last week’s Challenge Sentence is enough to make us all want to switch to another subject, as Avi did in commenting on the virtual strawberries that Ray dangled last week. (Avi, see last week’s comments for Ray’s reply to you.) I’m with Tim, who said in his comment, “A sentence as confusing as this is open to interpretation.”

So I see no alternative to declaring a tie between the three hardy souls who dared to proffer a revision at all: Joan, Rhonda, and Jim. Virtual strawberries for all three of you—and extra pieces of one-year-anniversary cake next week!

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Sign Up!

Want to play Tighten This! every week? Want a shot of fun while building your concise-writing skills with word-loving friends? Want to edify your inner editor? Subscribe to my blog under the heading “Sign Up!” (above right or, on a mobile device, all the way at the bottom). Then, each time I publish a post, including the newest game, you’ll receive an email.

Again, Challenge Sentence 49

To monitor the potential impacts, [Company] carried out monitoring of benthic communities, including baseline surveys prior to installation, annual monitoring surveys during the installation activities, and two post-development surveys upon completion of installation.

Your revision: _______________________
[Scroll to the bottom and put your revision in a comment by Friday, May 27.]

Go!

Index of Challenge Sentences

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20 thoughts on “Tighten This! Challenge Sentence 49 [writing/editing game]

  1. [Company] monitored the potential impacts on benthic communities with surveys before, during, and after installation.

    (I wouldn’t have known what “benthic” referred to without looking it up. I would include a brief definition if the context didn’t make it clear, and maybe also state what is being installed.)

  2. [Company] monitored benthic communities for potential impacts, with baseline surveys prior to installation, annual monitoring during installation, and two surveys after installation.

  3. [Company] surveyed benthic communities before, during, and after installation.

    • Great, much clearer. Helped me understand what the original was saying. but lost a few details. See mine below.

  4. [Company] monitored potential impacts on benthic communities: once before installation, annually during it, and twice afterwards.

    Happy anniversary! 🙂

  5. [Company] monitored potential impact on benthic communities, with baseline surveys before installation, annual surveys during the installation process and two post-development surveys.

  6. To monitor impact, [Company] surveyed benthic communities once before, annually during, and twice after installation.

  7. [Company] survey before, during and after instillation to monitor impacts on benthic communities.

  8. Actually, I am revising my revision.

    [Company] conducted multiple surveys before, during and after instillation to monitor impacts on benthic communities.

  9. [Company] monitored potential impacts to benthic communities with surveys: baseline, annually while installing, and two after installing.

  10. [Company] monitors benthic communities:
    – before installation (baseline surveys)
    – during installation (annual monitoring surveys)
    – after installation (two post-development surveys)

  11. Company monitored the potential impact on benthic communities through baseline, annual, and post-development surveys.

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