Gems Are Made by Cutting

This week’s is a quick but timely entry (I also plan to add to an earlier post, “Adieu to ‘you’ but more of ‘your'”).

The other day, I heard a radio spot for a well-known local diamond retailer (okay, why not? The Shane Company) talking about how—if I recall correctly—similar diamonds can receive different grades “depending on where the occlusions are located inside the diamond.”

Two problems with this. First, any occlusion located outside of a diamond is not germane to a discussion of that particular diamond, because it must logically be in a different diamond. Therefore you could improve the speech in quotation marks by shortening it to “depending on where the occlusions are located.” Second, “are” already refers to location (definition 2b of “be” in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate 11th edition); therefore “are located” is redundant. So then we have “depending on where the occlusions are.” Short and sweet. Gives you a couple more valuable seconds of airtime to talk about why people should buy from Shane.

A skilled and knowledgable copy editor is a great asset when every word counts.

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