Write simple

One of the biggest mistakes people make when writing, or in this case speaking, is to try to sound lawyerly or scientific. When I hear something like this, it makes me think the person is attempting to sound smarter than they actually are:

“It appears that an attempt was made to dispose of a body by an incendiary means. However, that attempt was not completely successful,” [Sheriff Jerry Pagel] said.

Keep it simple! Instead of “by an incendiary means” he could have said “by burning it”.

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