Tighten This! Challenge Sentence 11 [game]

this-weeks-challenge-question-marcia-riefer-johnstonWelcome to the concise-writing game, Tighten This! Here’s Challenge Sentence 11:

One of the key stakeholders was really late to the meeting due to the fact that she had been absolutely certain that its starting time was supposed to have been a half an hour later than the actual starting time.

Your revision: _______________________ [Scroll to the bottom and put your revision in a comment by Friday, August 14.]

Tips:

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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 last week’s Challenge Sentence, here it is again:

To tell the truth, she found her neighbor who lived next door to be quite attractive in appearance.

Video

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Marcia and Ray’s Pick (Or Is That Marcia’s and Ray’s Pick?*)

(Marcia speaking) I would remove the following words from last week’s sentence:

To tell the truth, she found her neighbor who lived next door to be quite attractive in appearance.

Larry Kunz came closest, keeping “next-door” to differentiate this neighbor from other neighbors who live not-so-close-by. Okay, I’ll buy that. Word reduction: 61%:

She thought her next-door neighbor was attractive.

(Ray speaking) Larry removes the fluff, removes the redundancy, tells it like it is, and again goes home with everyone’s marbles.

Wordy version and concise version of sentence

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

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Again, Challenge Sentence 11

One of the key stakeholders was really late to the meeting due to the fact that she had been absolutely certain that its starting time was supposed to have been a half an hour later than the actual starting time.

Your revision: _______________________ [Scroll to the bottom and put your revision in a comment by Friday, August 14.]

Go!

*Bonus Question

Would you say “Marcia and Ray’s pick” or “Marcia’s and Ray’s pick”? How about “Marcia and Ray’s answers” vs. “Marcia’s and Ray’s answers”? Bonus points to all who can answer both questions. Extra points if you can explain why. Extra extra points if you also name this kind of grammatical construction. Extra extra extra points if you give more than one name for this kind of grammatical construction. Extra extra extra extra points if you tell how these apostrophes are like hairdryers. Extra extra extra extra extra points if you name the person who came up with the quick-and-dirty hairdryer tip. Extra extra extra extra extra extra points if you read all the way to this point. (To collect, end your comment with “wink, wink” or whatever code you like.)

Index of Challenge Sentences

46 thoughts on “Tighten This! Challenge Sentence 11 [game]

  1. One stakeholder mistakenly thought the meeting started half an hour later and so arrived late.

    Marcia and Ray’s pick (singular, same pick for both)

    Marcia’s and Ray’s answers (plural, different answers for each of them)

  2. Convinced that the meeting would start a half hour later, a key stakeholder arrived very late.

    Both should be possessive. Parallel construction. wink wink

  3. Arriving quite tardy, a key stakeholder thought the meeting started 30 minutes later.

  4. A stakeholder arrived late because she got the meeting’s start time wrong by half an hour.

    “Marcia and Ray’s pick” – singular object for a singular subject. (Marcia and Ray gave their answer as a couple.)

    “Marcia’s and Ray’s picks” – plural object for plural subject. (Marcia and Ray each gave their own answer.)

    I’d call that parallelism, instead of “parallel construction”, for the 50% word-count saving.

    Apostrophes look like hair dryers. Mignon Fogarty, the Grammar Girl, said that, but I cheated by googling it. Although at least I read to the end.

    • Nick, I give up trying to count how many extra points you get. You’re the first to identify Mignon as the source of the hairdryer analogy. I’m winking back at you for making it through the whole post.

  5. One of the Stakeholders came to the meeting half-an hour late because she was certain that is the start time.

  6. One of the key stakeholders was really late to the meeting due to the fact that she had been absolutely certain that its starting time was supposed to have been a half an hour later than the actual starting time.

    A key stakeholder was thirty minutes late to the meeting because she misunderstood the start time.

  7. A key stakeholders was late to the meeting because she was certain that starting time was half an hour later than the actual.

  8. One of the key stakeholders was late to the meeting because she mistook the starting time to be half an hour later than the actual time

  9. A key participant was half an hour late to the meeting because she had the starting time wrong.

    (Meetings probably don’t need “stakeholders” unless they include vampires.)

  10. A stakeholder was late to the meeting as she was unaware of the actual starting time.

    Marcia and Ray’s Pick
    Marcia’s and Ray’s answers

    😉 😉

  11. A key stakeholder was late to the meeting because of a misunderstanding about the time.

  12. A stakeholder was late to the meeting because she was sure that it would begin a half hour late.

  13. A key stakeholder was late to the meeting because she believed that its start time was half an hour later.

    If stakeholder implies key participant, I would write this:

    A stakeholder was late to the meeting because she believed that its start time was half an hour later.

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