Avoiding Wordiness


For a printable copy, click here: Wordiness

Rewrite the following paragraph, eliminating all words that are unnecessary. Do not eliminate any facts, and do not change the meaning of any of the sentences. (If you wish, you might try just crossing out unnecessary words rather than retyping the whole passage.) Imagine that your editor will only allow you to have about 200 words. The original has 390.

It is surprising to find how many different kinds of clothing are worn in many various and different parts of the world we live in. In the city of London or on the streets of New York, most of the men wear the usual outfits of coats and trousers, called suits, along with a shirt and a necktie, which is worn around the neck. Some women in these particular cities also wear trousers and jackets that have much in common with what men wear and that are known to most people as pants suits. On the several islands of Hawaii, men wear brightly colored, patterned shirts called aloha shirts. Women, at least many women, wear very much the same color and pattern in long dresses which have come to be called muumuus. In Japan, most men wear business suits such as the kind you see in New York or London, as we have mentioned earlier. But most especially in the outlying country that lies outside of Tokyo, a great many Japanese women wear the long-sleeved, traditional dress, known as the kimono, with its wide belt, called the obi. Moving around in Southeast Asia, you are certain to see a mixture of Eastern and Western dress on both men and women alike. Sometimes, members of both sexes in Southeast Asia wear a piece of colorful cotton material wrapped around the human being’s body. This is the sarong.  Surely one of the loveliest and most beautiful of women’s dresses is found in Vietnam. This dress really consists of long trousers of a light material, with transparent panels hanging from the woman’s waist to her feet at front and back. The dress has long sleeves and a high neck. Another beautiful woman’s dress is worn in India. Popularly called the sari, this dress is made of filmy sheer material in intense colors, sometimes with metallic threads. It is wrapped and folded around the woman’s body and draped over her head. The most exciting and distinctive man’s dress or garment is found even farther around the world, however, in the desert kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where there is a lot of sand. Here the full white robe, which goes by the name of the thobe, topped with a flowing white headdress, makes every man on the desert of Arabia look like a desert chieftain.

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