Here’s a good exercise to promote plain writing and dense writing.  The object is to force you to purge your writing of any words that don’t work their butts off on your behalf.  Take the following sentence and reduce it to as few words as humanly possible, without changing the meaning of the sentence.  Shortest re-write wins a prize (respect)!


Should the defendant be unable to discover the psychiatric records of plaintiff, defendant will be prejudiced by its inability to establish the effect of plaintiff’s baseline mental limitations on her quality of life following the subject incident and most importantly to show that any subsequent mental deterioration is not causally related to the injury.

Here’s my stab at it:

Without psychiatric records, GigantiCorp cannot distinguish Johnson’s related medical conditions from her pre-existing ones.

What do you think?  How would you re-word it?  Can you get it down to even less than my 14 words?  Do you think I maybe sacrificed a little too much detail?