Tighten This! Challenge Sentence 12 [game]

this-weeks-challenge-question-marcia-riefer-johnstonWelcome to the concise-writing game, Tighten This! Here’s Challenge Sentence 12:

This tool helps companies identify which of the 60 most likely cyberattack scenarios are relevant to their situation.

Your revision: _______________________ [Scroll to the bottom and put your revision in a comment by Friday, August 28.]


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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:

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.

Ray’s Pick

(Ray speaking) I like Char’s entry best: A key stakeholder was late to the meeting.

But rules are rules, and we don’t get to remove information contained in the original. For Char, a heartfelt tip o’ the hat. (Taking Char’s approach a step further, can we also remove key? What, in this context, would a nonkey stakeholder look like? And who’s going to let this alleged nonkey stakeholder in on the fact that she is, in fact, not key?)

A hat tip also to Karen Mulholland for her comment on stakeholder, a weed that blew in, took root, and quickly filled all available space. Along with at the end of the day, come-to-Jesus moment, and drinking the Kool-Aid, stakeholder now resides in the glossary of Buzzword Bingo.

Winner: Larry Kunz with A key stakeholder arrived at the meeting a half-hour late because she did not know the starting time.

To everyone else: Thank you for playing. Keep giving our little contest your best shot. Don’t give up. Don’t lose hope. Instead, remember Paul Simon. Paul Simon produced a number of million-selling albums, without winning the album Grammy, during the years leading up to 1976. Standing at the podium after receiving the Grammy for his 1976 album Still Crazy After All These Years, Simon started his acceptance speech something like this: “First, let me thank Stevie Wonder. Stevie, thank you for not releasing an album this year.”

So … who knows? Maybe, one of these days, Larry Kunz will take a long vacation, maybe in Maui—why not?—and leave his phone, tablet, and computer at home.

Here is Larry’s 18-word rendering (reducing word count by 55%):Larry-Kunz-concise-sentence

Marcia’s Pick

(Marcia speaking) I looked for revisions that retained the original’s meaning, including these bits:

  • The person’s role (stakeholder)
  • The person’s gender (female)
  • The thing she went to (a meeting)
  • The point of the sentence (her lateness)
  • The degree of her lateness (half hour)
  • The reason for her lateness (her misunderstanding about the starting time)

Several of the revisions dropped bits of meaning. Nick Shears‘s revision kept all these bits while tightening to the fewest words, bringing the word count down from 40 to 16 (a 60% reduction):

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


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 12

This tool helps companies identify which of the 60 the most likely cyberattack scenarios are relevant to their situation.

Your revision: _______________________ [Scroll to the bottom and put your revision in a comment by Friday, August 28.]


Index of Challenge Sentences

78 thoughts on “Tighten This! Challenge Sentence 12 [game]

  1. This tool identifies which of 60 common cyberattack scenarios are relevant to a company’s situation.

  2. This tool evaluates up to 60 cyberattack scenarios to identify those most likely to threaten your company.

  3. Of the most likely cyberattack scenarios, this tool helps companies identify the most relevant to their situation.

  4. This tool identifies which of the top 60 cyberattack scenarios are relevant to companies.

  5. This tool identifies which of the 60 most likely cyberattack scenarios are relevant to your company.


    Find out which of the top 60 cyberattacks pose the biggest threat to your company.

    [assuming larger context of promotion or news about the specific tool]

  7. This tool pinpoints your company’s vulnerabilities in 60 likely cyberattack scenarios.

  8. This tool helps you identify which cyberattack threats apply to you.

    P.S. If you’ll send my 10% commission on the $1,375,000 I saved you, I’ll take that vacation in Maui.

  9. you can’t just be dropping info off into the void.

    all cyberattacks? no, only among the 60 most likely.
    individuals? no, companies. (enterprise-level)

    plus context matters. if it’s copy on the tool itself, and found on an IT profs website, could pare down to just a few words with the rest inferred by context. if found in running text in a book not much can be omitted.

  10. Pingback: Bookmarks for August 24th from 05:46 to 10:03 : Extenuating Circumstances

  11. This tool helps companies identify which of the 60 most likely cyberattacks pose the biggest threat.

  12. Companies can use this tool to identify the most likely of 60 cyberattack scenarios.

  13. Our product helps you identify which of the many kinds of cyberattack [pose the biggest threat]. (The bit in brackets lifted from Cristian 🙂

  14. What a great game! Here’s my attempt:

    This tool identifies which cyberattacks are likely to affect a company.

  15. Use this tool to identify which of the 60 most likely cyberattack scenarios apply to your company.

  16. Didn’t read all the other offers.
    This tool helps companies identify the most relevant cyberattacks.

  17. Helps companies identify the most relevant of 60 likely cyberattacks.

    (“This tool” could presumably be inferred from context.)
    (“Scenario” is usually a noise word.).
    (“the 60 the most” must be a typo.)
    (“to their situation” seems tautological after “relevant’)

  18. Love this game!

    In the style of the text:

    This tool helps companies identify their sixty most likely cyberattacks.

    Marketing style:

    Which sixty cyberattacks are your company’s biggest threats?

  19. Of the top 60 cyberthreats, this tool identifies those relevant to your company.

  20. My entry assumes that the “the” after 60 is omitted for grammatical integrity. Otherwise, I don’t understand the sentence.

  21. Pingback: Tighten This! Challenge Sentence 13 [game] - Writing.RocksWriting.Rocks

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