A colleague asked my opinion on a line in a client’s article this week. The colleague thought the line ungrammatical but the client insisted it was right. In the interests of privacy, I won’t show you the line here. However, I can tell you that technically, the client was right; what he said wasn’t wrong. It was just awkward. What was worse, though, was the sentence stretched a breathtaking 66 words! This when research shows that sentences with an average of 14 words are the easiest for readers to understand.

My service to the client’s readers was to suggest a less awkward way of saying the controversial line, and to suggest he break the sentence into two. I’m told he agreed to both.