Robust Verbs-Dohertyk9

“There is a huge problem in Vancouver with heroin addicts committing crimes to support their habits. The “free heroin for addicts” program is doing everything they can to stop the addicts. The problem is that there is a large crime rate due to the addicts. It is obvious that addicts have a hard time getting through their day to day lives. Daily activities such as jobs, interactions, and relationships are hard to maintain because of the fact that they are using. By heroin users being addicted, they will do whatever they have to do to get their hands on the drug. The types of crimes committed are those of breaking and entering as well as stealing. There are no limits to where they will go to retrieve this drug so that they can feed their addiction. The problem with this program is that it won’t help to ween these addicts off using heroin. It is only trying to save the city from rising crime rates that they’re up to. By providing the drug, these addicts will be off the streets, which in turn will prevent them from committing minor street crimes. This will also keep the heroin users out of the hospital. It is pointless that the hospitals have to deal with people that want to use bad drugs or unsanitary needles and find themselves being unable to afford hospital bills and hard to cope without the drug. This program gives people free heroin in the cleanest way possible. This will in turn fix the city but not the addiction that these people face.”

 

1. “There is a huge problem in Vancouver with heroin addicts committing crimes to support their habits.”

The Problem: “There is” is used in this sentence. Also, the sentence in general sounds very weak and doesn’t seem to add much to the argument. Personally, I would not even include a sentence like this in my own essay. It seems to make a claim that the rest of the essay should make obvious.

The Fix: In Vancouver, high crime rates result from heroin addicts’ need to feed their own addictions.

DSH: Completely agree. I wouldn’t use it at all. The weakest sentences say something IS. And the weakest of THOSE say something obvious IS. 

2. “The ‘free heroin for addicts’ program is doing everything they can to stop the addicts.”

The Problem: There doesn’t seem to be anything inherently wrong with the sentence, it just seems to make a very obvious claim. One would hope that the “free heroin for addicts” program would try to stop the addicts.

The Fix: Although the “free heroin for addicts” program is actively seeking a solution, there is no easy fix for the problem.

DSH: I like your sentence, but you might be taking too much for granted. At least one sentence will be needed to explain that giving heroin to addicts eliminates their need to rob and steal to feed their habits.

3. “The problem is that there is a large crime rate due to the addicts.

The Problem: “The problem is” essentially sounds the same as “There is”. The writer then further bores the reader with “there is”. Instead of putting in such a useless bunch of words, the writer should eliminate them altogether.

The Fix: A high crime rate exists due to the addicts’ need to afford the costly drug.

DSH: Completely agree with your analysis so far. But then: compare your Sentence 1 with your Sentence 3. They’re virtually identical. Name the high cost of the drug in Sentence 1 and you’re done.

4.  “It is obvious that addicts have a hard time getting through their day to day lives.

The Problem: Why put “it is obvious that” when it can be cut out completely? In fact, the whole statement should be cut out, if it truly is obvious.

The Fix: Daily lives of addicts are made difficult by their obsession with heroin.

DSH: You’re completely right, but you’re beginning a pattern of passive constructions. What’s the true subject of this sentence: “daily lives” or “obsession with heroin”? As in: Addiction interferes with daily life?

5. “Daily activities such as jobs, interactions, and relationships are hard to maintain because of the fact that they are using.”

The Problem: The previous sentence already said that daily life is hard. This is simply repetitive. Instead, the writer should focus on how the symptoms affect the individual’s life.

The Fix: Addicts have a general apathy for every day life outside of their addiction, which often results in termination of their career, hostility in existing relationships and an increasing distance from other people.

DSH: Fantastic work. And yes, you can eliminate Sentence 4 if this is your Sentence 5. 

6. “By heroin users being addicted, they will do whatever they have to do to get their hands on the drug.”

The Problem: “By heroin users being addicted” just sounds wrong. Also, it’s obvious that because they are addicts, they are addicted.

The Fix: Addicted heroin users will commit any crime necessary to attain the drug.

DSH: “By heroin users being addicted” sounds wrong for a reason. It’s wrong. There’s no legal grammar construction in which the By can be followed by the subject. It would be stupid but grammatically correct to say here: “By being addicted, heroin users . . . ” followed by something else they do.

7. The types of crimes committed are those of breaking and entering as well as stealing.”

The Problem: This wording is awkward. I would rephrase it.

The Fix: Theft and even breaking and entering are not beyond the scope of a desperate addict’s potential infractions.

DSH: Much more effective but also very wordy. If combined with Sentence 6, it could be rendered simply: “Desperate addicts resort to muggings or breaking into houses and cars.”

8. There are no limits to where they will go to retrieve this drug so that they can feed their addiction.”

The Problem: “There are” is used again here. Also this sentence is almost the exact same sentence as the previous one, “…they will do whatever they have to do to get their hands on the drug.”

The Fix: No limits exist to an addict; the drug always comes first.

DSH: You’re very good at recognizing the repetitions. I’m hopeful that in a final draft you would eliminate them. (You’ve created a weak “IS” sentence, in the negative. No limits exist.) 

9. The problem with this program is that it won’t help to ween these addicts off using heroin.”

The Problem: There isn’t anything particularly wrong with this sentence, it simply lacks interest. Also “The problem with” can be taken out.

The Fix: Despite seeking to keep heroin users off the streets by offering a free, safe method of attaining the drug, the program does not actually help users to stop their addiction.

DSH: Might I suggest the briefer: Despite keeping users off the streets by providing free, safe access to the drug, the program does not reduce addiction.

10: “It is only trying to save the city from rising crime rates that they’re up to.”

The Problem: “It is” is used. Also, “that they’re up to” sounds awkward.

The Fix: The sole purpose of the program is to lower the city’s crime rates.

DSH: Yeah. 

11. “By providing the drug, these addicts will be off the streets, which in turn will prevent them from committing minor street crimes.”

The Problem: “By providing the drug” simply sounds awkward. Also, it states that providing the drug “will prevent them from committing minor street crimes”. None of these “minor street crimes” have been mentioned; only theft and breaking and entering were mentioned, which aren’t usually considered to be minor.

The Fix: Because the drug is free and accessible through the program, crime will not be necessary for users to attain it.

DSH: This “By” sentence is even worse than the first one. By misplacing the modifier, it claims that addicts provide the drug. You’re right to get rid of it. Identify again the true subject of your sentence. Is it crime? The program? The addicts?  

12. “This will also keep the heroin users out of the hospital.”

The Problem: There is nothing particularly wrong with this statement, it simply could have been attached to the previous statement.

The Fix: If heroin addicts receive the drug from this program instead of from drug dealers, they will be safer and therefore will require far fewer visits to the hospital.

DSH: Completely agree. I look forward to the sentence in which you combine the claims.

13. “It is pointless that the hospitals have to deal with people that want to use bad drugs or unsanitary needles and find themselves being unable to afford hospital bills and hard to cope without the drug.”

The Problem: “It is” is used. Also, the sentence is simply poorly written.

The Fix: Hospitals should not need to handle patients that have brought illness upon themselves that could have been avoided through the program, especially when patients cannot afford the bills and have intense withdrawals.

DSH: Good so far. I wonder if “Hospitals should not have to absorb the high cost of treating withdrawal” would be a smoother way to start.

14. “This program gives people free heroin in the cleanest way possible.”

The Problem: This sentence seems fine, but fine is boring.

The Fix: The program ensures that addicts have access to free heroin and clean needles, which is far safer than any other place the addicts could get the drug from.

DSH: Completely agree. The heroin is clean too, free of often poisonous impurities that contaminate street drugs. 

15. “This will in turn fix the city but not the addiction that these people face.”

The Problem: This sentence lacks interest.

The Fix: The program creates a safer city, but lends no support to the people that are hopelessly addicted to heroin.

DSH: Vast improvement.

The Resulting Paragraph: In Vancouver, high crime rates result from heroin addicts’ need to feed their own addictions. Addicts steal and break into houses and cars for money to buy heroin. The “free heroin for addicts” program provides clean, safe heroin to addicts to prevent them from seeking it on the streets and committing crime to attain it. If heroin addicts receive the drug from this program instead of from drug dealers, they will be safer and therefore will require far fewer visits to the hospital. Hospitals should not be burdened with patients who suffer intense withdrawals and require costly treatment that the patients cannot afford to repay. The program may lower crime rates, but it does nothing to reduce addiction. Addicts have a general apathy for everyday life outside of their addiction, which often results in termination of their career, hostility in existing relationships, and an increasing distance from other people. The program creates a safer city, but lends no support to the people that are hopelessly addicted to heroin.

 

(I have cut out sentence 3 because even reworded, it seemed unnecessary.)
DSH: Good call. Several other opportunities to eliminate or combine sentences remain.

 

 

This entry was posted in DohertyK, E11: Robust Subjects and Verbs. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Robust Verbs-Dohertyk9

  1. davidbdale says:

    This is beautiful work, DK, as indicated above, and for the reasons you have yourself explained. Now, if you accept the challenge, would you please break your dependence on the original and, working from your own already much-improved version, treat your “Resulting Paragraph” as a first draft from which to produce your own Final Draft?

    Thank you for the opportunity to interact.

    Like

    • dohertyk9 says:

      As challenged, I have revised the “resulting paragraph” to reflect my work as my own final draft rather than using the structure of the original.

      Liked by 1 person

      • davidbdale says:

        Always impressive, DK. Not your fault, but it’s surprising how, when the paragraph is reduced to its essence, that entire sentence about the challenges addicts face to maintain their daily lives seems completely irrelevant. Its relevance to the original paragraph was probably entirely rhetorical.

        Liked by 1 person

        • dohertyk9 says:

          I didn’t even notice that, but that’s completely accurate. The sentence really doesn’t add much of anything to the argument.

          Like

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