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Adjectives and Adverbs

Rule 4:
Avoid overusing modifiers.

The use of too many modifiers detracts from the effect they are meant to have.

Example:

• The lengthy, unorganized report describing last year's budgeted expenses in the personnel department was analyzed carefully and thoroughly by our very competent and willing auditors who work regularly in the accounting department.

The many modifiers make the sentence wordy and ineffective. Notice how the careful use of only two or three modifiers (and changing passive voice to active) makes the sentence much easier to read:

• The auditors carefully analyzed the personnel department's expense report for last year.

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