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I am writing a scientific paper which concerns itself with "short" texts, like the ones we encounter on social media platforms and so.

Other literature uses the same term "short texts" to refer to sentences of no more than 6 words on average, which is too short in our context. This also caused some confusion for some reviewers.

I suggested using "shorter texts" instead as a lesser extreme variant; the paper's title becomes something along the lines of "Deep Learning on Shorter Texts with Methods A, B".

Is it an acceptable usage of English to use comparatives without than + object?

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Yes, it is not only acceptable but widely recognized. This usage is materialized for instance in the title of an Oxford English dictionary which is called The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary.

Here is this usage in connection with publication.

Charles Darwin's Shorter Publications, 1829-1883

  • These shorter publications contain a wealth of valuable material…
  • Yet his shorter publications reflect many of…
  • The shorter publications represent an important part of the Darwin visible…

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