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The AWC Twitter Competition 2016-17
The rules of the AWC Twitter Competition are simple. Every two weeks, the AWC team posts a long and cumbersome sentence. All students and staff at NUIG can compete by posting a shortened version on Twitter. The challenge is not to lose any important information while reducing the word count. The most elegant version wins. Sentences will be posted in English and in Irish. There will be at least three rounds throughout March, with prizes ranging from €5 to €15.
The competition aims to start a conversation about good writing style. Writers are often advised to condense their writing. As the author of The Elements of Style explains, this does not require writers to ‘avoid all detail and treat [their] subjects only in outline, but that [they] make every word tell’ (Stunk 24). Ideas should be expressed in the least possible number of words, and superfluous words should be avoided.
By putting this advice at the core of the competition, we hope to transform our Twitter page into a place of mutual learning. We will watch cumbersome sentences transform into elegant ones, and we invite everyone to join in the conversation by commenting on the process.
William Stunk. The Elements of Style: the Original Edition. Dover Publications, 2012.