Exercises 1, 2: Ajax Fund Managers, MNOP Pension Fund

Ajax Fund Managers

Word clutter is highlighted in yellow:

This Notice has not been reviewed by the Central Bank of Ireland and it is possible that changes thereto may be necessary to meet the requirements of the Central Bank. The directors of Ajax International Fund Managers (Ireland) Limited, the manager of the Unit Trust (the “Directors), are of the opinion that there is nothing contained in this Notice nor in the proposals detailed herein that conflicts with guidance issued by and regulations of the Central Bank.


Rewrite

The Directors of Ajax Fund Managers (Ireland) Limited, which manages the Unit Trust, believe that the proposals and other information in this notice comply with Central Bank of Ireland’s guidance and regulations. However, the Central Bank has not reviewed the notice. We may need to amend it if the Central Bank asks for changes.


Observations

I have cut the paragraph from 77 words to 54 by getting rid of stilted language, by changing passive voice to active (“has not been reviewed,” etc.), and getting rid of unnecessarily complicated expressions (“we may need to” instead of “it is possible . . .. may be necessary”).


Exercise 2: MNOP Pension Fund

Word clutter is highlighted in yellow:

The period since our previous reporting to date has been largely tainted by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. The spread of the virus has led to a rapid downturn across real economies and financial markets worldwide. Both central banks and governments responded with economic stimulus packages of unprecedented size and scope in an attempt to mitigate falls in GDP, employment, and financial markets. Despite these challenging conditions, many return-seeking assets have recovered well in response to the stimulus packages that have been deployed.


Rewrite

Since our last report, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused economic contraction and roiled financial markets worldwide. Central banks and governments have introduced measures to limit GDP and employment declines and losses in financial markets. Many stock, bond, and other financial assets have recovered well thanks to the stimulus measures.


Observation

I highlighted “mitigate” not because it is unnecessary, but because “try” is shorter, an everyday word that any reader will understand, and does the same job as “mitigate.”

The original text has 84 words. I cut it to 49 words. That is a reduction of 42 percent. I do not think my rewrite has missed any detail in the original.

Zinsser writes that many initial drafts can easily be cut by 50 percent or more. The MNOP report seems to back up his observation, especially bearing in mind it is the edited version of a text that probably went through at least two drafts, and at least one editor.