An ambulance and its crew in Modena, Italy.

An ambulance and its crew in Modena, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One thing follows another …

 In international business communications I always recommend keeping sentences short and simple, using commonly understood words and getting quickly to the point. However, such simplicity can be taken to an extreme. Consider this factory accident report:

 “The worker climbed a ladder. One rung of the ladder broke. The worker’s foot fell to the next rung. The ladder slid sideways. The worker fell from the ladder onto the ground. The worker’s leg was broken. An ambulance was called. An ambulance came quickly. The worker was taken to hospital.”

 Even though the sentences are short and simple, and the words easy to understand, the text is very clumsy, does not flow and is not nice to read. Also, certain words are repeated over and over again. Let’s see what we can do with it.

 “The worker was climbing a ladder when one of the rungs broke.”

(The past continuous tense is useful when one thing happens in the middle of another.)

Although the worker’s foot landed on the next rung, the ladder slid sideways, causing him to fall to the ground, breaking his leg.”
(Here we contrast an improvement, followed by another problem and its effect, followed by the result.)

An ambulance was called, came quickly and took the worker to the hospital.”

 As you can see, the text is now much more readable, without the sentences being too long, or the language too difficult. I shall write a series of such posts, joining different types of sentences together.

Click HERE to see more language connected with Accidents and Emergencies.