An FBI Report

On January 4, a woman passenger on a Spirit Airlines flight reported that she was sexually assaulted while the plane was in the air. She immediately told flight attendants what had happened.

Federal agents met the plane when it landed and took the suspected assailant into custody. You can read the story here: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/revolting/another-in-flight-attack-149527

It’s worth taking a few moments to visit the link and read the affidavit posted there. The FBI agent who handled the case is an excellent writer. The affidavit features normal, straightforward language. Special Agent Kyle Dodge used “I,” “me,” “she,” “her,” and other ordinary words, and he wrote in active voice. Here’s an example:

She fell asleep leaning against a window. She woke up to a hand in her pants and noticed that her pants and shirt were unbuttoned.  EXCERPT FROM THE AFFIDAVIT

It’s not difficult to write the kinds of sentences required for police reports if – and it’s a big if! – you care about writing clearly. Trouble begins when you decide that everyday language isn’t good enough. The more you try to puff up your sentences, the more writing problems you’re going to have.

Congratulations to Special Agent Kyle Dodge for an excellent affidavit. 

 

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