Business documents tend to be long-winded and filled with expensive-sounding words, too many "-ion" and "-ing" words, and an abundance of prepositional phrases, adverbs and redundancies, says author David Silverman, who teaches a business writing class at Drew University in New Jersey. He blames the educational system. "When you get tick marks for bull's-eyes -- and no demerits for the number of darts used -- the student learns to overwrite in hopes that at least some of their sentences hit the mark."

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