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We are writing technical documentation and a sentence looks more or less like this:

  1. "The inside diameter of the pipe is reduced and thus restricts flow of water."
  2. "The inside diameter of the pipe is reduced and thus restricts the flow of water."
  3. "The inside diameter of the pipe is reduced and thus restricts the flow of the water."

Which is correct/false or better/worse?

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A less wordy version, which may or may not please your ear, is: The pipe's inside diameter is reduced and restricts water flow. –  rhetorician Apr 26 '13 at 19:52
    
I might add: My version has only 10 words; your suggested versions have 14, 15, and 16, respectively. I prefer economy of expression as long as it does not interfere with my reader's understanding. –  rhetorician May 1 '13 at 18:13

1 Answer 1

Although this is somewhat a matter of opinion (i.e., one can choose between S2 and S3, but S1 is out of the question for me), I will say that S#2 is the better choice. All three sentences are understandable, but S1 is ungrammatical, in my opinion, because the definite article is required for the phrase the flow of water. At best, S1 is exceedingly poor style: not everyone agrees on what is and is not grammatical, but "I know it when I see it".

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