Could you cut any words from the first paragraph of the following piece?


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Thread: Could you cut any words from the first paragraph of the following piece?

  1. #1
    Honoured/Sadly Missed The Backward OX's Avatar
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    Could you cut any words from the first paragraph of the following piece?

    Could you cut any words from the first paragraph of the following piece, while still leaving the flow and meaning intact? The second paragraph is included only to give more meaning/positioning to the word ‘apron’. It’s the first paragraph that interests me.
    If Yes, reasons would be appreciated.
    Thank you.

    Morgan burped contentedly as he stepped down from the doorway of the drivers’ canteen on to the bitumen apron. Three taxis nose-to-tail at the nearby LPG pumps were being refuelled by their drivers. He had parked his own cab over on the far side of the compound, near the workshops but out of everyone’s way. Now he was heading back to work.

    A horn blared loudly in his right ear, the discordant note hanging on for a second longer than necessary. Morgan froze in mid-stride. A taxi whooshed past in a swirl of leaves, abandoned fuel receipts and dust, squeezing between Morgan and the three cabs in direct contravention of the house rule forbidding drivers from using the apron as a shortcut.

  2. #2
    Member winkash's Avatar
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    I think you could cut some prepositional phrases:

    - from the doorway of the drivers' canteen
    - by their drivers
    - over on the far side of the compound
    Last edited by winkash; August 29th, 2010 at 08:41 PM. Reason: An "o"
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  3. #3
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    Cool

    Morgan burped contentedly as he stepped from the drivers’ canteen on to the bitumen apron. Drivers refueled their nose-to-tail taxis at the nearby LPG pumps. He had parked his cab on the far side of the compound, near the workshops but out of everyone’s way. Now he was returning to work.

    "down from the doorway" seems extraneous. Would he step down from a window?
    I changed the second sentence from passive to active and shortened it.
    his and own are the same so "own" is redundant
    heading back to returning deletes one word - as you asked.

  4. #4
    Morgan burped contentedly as he stepped down from the doorway of the drivers’ canteen on to the bitumen apron. Three taxis nose-to-tail at the nearby LPG pumps were being refuelled by their drivers. He had parked his own cab over on the far side of the compound, near the workshops but out of everyone’s way. Now he was heading back to work.


    Mostly, it's just too wordy. There is a lot that can be cut without losing any meaning or meat of the paragraph.

    - contentedly - it doesn't really add to the context and, for the most part it's a take-it-or-leave it
    - from the doorway of the drivers’ canteen - again, it doesn't improve the context and the scene loses nothing by deleting it.
    - nearby ... by their drivers. - It really doesn't matter who was doing the refueling and, as far as the proximity, it is relatively obvious they were nearby
    He had parked his own cab over on the far side of the compound, - Restructuring this sentence cleans it up and gets rid of the wordiness.
    - but - Once again, neither adds nor detracts. If it doesn't add, why put it in?
    -Now he was heading back to work. - Again, restructuring helps to clean it up and eliminate unneccessary wordiness.
    Consider ...
    Morgan burped as he stepped down to the bitumen apron. Three taxis, nose-to-tail at the LPG pumps, were being refueled. His own cab was parked on the far side of the compound near the workshops out of everyone's way. He headed back to work.


  5. #5
    "Morgan burped as he stepped down from the driver's canteen."

    "He parked his cab by the far side of the compound and headed back to work."
    "The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated. And the only thing people regret is that they didn't live boldly enough, that they didn't invest enough heart, didn't love enough. Nothing else really counts at all. It was a saying about noble figures in old Irish poems—he would give his hawk to any man that asked for it, yet he loved his hawk better than men nowadays love their bride of tomorrow. He would mourn a dog with more grief than men nowadays mourn their fathers.

    And that's how we measure out our real respect for people—by the degree of feeling they can register, the voltage of life they can carry and tolerate—and enjoy.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by thewordsmith View Post

    Mostly, it's just too wordy. There is a lot that can be cut without losing any meaning or meat of the paragraph.

    - contentedly - it doesn't really add to the context and, for the most part it's a take-it-or-leave it
    - from the doorway of the drivers’ canteen - again, it doesn't improve the context and the scene loses nothing by deleting it.
    Here's the original:

    Morgan burped contentedly as he stepped down from the doorway of the drivers’ canteen on to the bitumen apron.

    Someone elsewhere suggested leaving out both ‘down’ and ‘on to the bitumen apron’. If I do that, and incorporate your suggestions, I’m left with ‘Morgan burped.’ But as the burp was a consequence of eating a meal, and as that part has now gone, we might as well eliminate ‘burped’ as confusing and/or unnecessary. This leaves us with just ‘Morgan’. Wtf? So we’ll get rid of him too. The entire sentence has now vanished. Nice one.
    Last edited by The Backward OX; August 29th, 2010 at 05:06 AM.

  7. #7
    Yes, I could.

  8. #8
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  9. #9
    Morgan burped contentedly as he stepped down from the doorway of the drivers’ canteen on to the bitumen apron. Three taxis nose-to-tail at the nearby LPG pumps were being refuelled by their drivers.
    You could take out the highlighted words without restructuring. The second sentence could be shortened by restructuring, but I couldn't do it by simply eliminating words.
    Contentedly, he is coming out the canteen, its given
    Up down, so what
    Doorway, how else would he leave
    on, unlikely to be under this early on
    nose to tail, that's the way pumps are
    nearby, you would say if it was somewhere else
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olly Buckle View Post
    Up down, so what
    Someone elsewhere noted that ‘down’ showed it had been written by an Australian. The popular idea is that all single-storey buildings, in sub-tropical and tropical parts of Oz at least, are elevated on stumps to allow cooling air, reptiles and funnel-web spiders to get underneath. Check it with your Earls Court mates next time you’re talking. Thanks for the other. Every little bit helps, as Grandma said when she peed in the ocean.

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