The Evolution of a Sentence

I  was just writing a comment on a discussion board when I noticed the evolution of one of my sentences:

First version:  I find your progress inspiring.
Second version:  Your progress is inspiring.
Third version: Your progress inspires me.

The first version focuses on me rather than the person I was complimenting, and it's wordier than necessary. The second version uses the dull verb is. The third compliments the other person from the beginning, and it uses the powerful action verb inspires. 

Now, on to the next sentence.

Lynn
Syntax Training

 

5 COMMENTS

  1. I am a writing tutor trying to help others achieve clarity and power in their sentences.

    Your blog is a great example and helps me visualize the subtle differences in tone.

    Your post has inspired me.

  2. Ditto Dev’s comment!

    Though, to be even more efficient:
    Your posts inspire me!

    (Emphasis on the many posts, as a collective, ongoing influence.)

    Thanks, Lynn!

    Tom Roux
    Editor-at-Large
    The Business Insider Blog (www.timrosablog.com)

  3. Thanks, Dev and Tom. I love getting such positive responses. (And for the record, my first version of that sentence was “I love getting such a positive response.” The tighter version sounds better to me.)

  4. Well defined. It’s good to “read” into which part we want to emphasize to produce a powerful sentence.

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