10 tips for killing wordy writing

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  • 1. 10 Tips For Killing Wordy WritingBy Olivia Roat, Published May 11, 2013
  • 2. #1 Lets start with two redundant phrases: the reason why andthe reason is because. You can easily tighten sentences withthese phrases. Heres how: Im trying to determine the reason why everyone is obsessedwith cats. Im trying to determine why everyone is obsessed with cats. You dont need the reason why. A simple why suffices. And the reason is because is redundant too. You can replace itwith the reason is that, like so: The reason is because people like furry creatures. The reason is that people like furry creatures. (People like furry creatures would also get the point across. Idopt for this sentence.)
  • 3. #2 The phrase due to the fact is not only wordy but alsounnecessary. The word because says the exact same thing. I had to move out due to the fact that my roommate bought acat. I had to move out because my roommate bought a cat. Due to the fact that her cat is criminally adorable, I changedmy mind. Because her cat is criminally adorable, I changed my mind.
  • 4. #3 You pretty much never need the word currently. Take thissentence: My sister is currently in search of a new cat. This sentence has the verb is. This verb is present tense,so its already implied that at this very moment, my sister is insearch of a new cat. Theres no need for currently. Anotherexample: My cat currently has a bad cough. Again, the verb in this sentence is in the present tense. Itsalready implied that at the present time, my cat has a badcough.
  • 5. #4 Theres also no need for revert back. Revert means toreturn to a former condition, period, or subject. Ditch theback and replace it with to. I reverted to my original stance on felines. My cat is kind when I have people over, but as soon as theyleave, she reverts to her evil ways.
  • 6. #5 Like revert back, reply back is redundant. Get rid of theback. People say cats cant talk, but I swear my cat Theodorereplied to me.
  • 7. #6 Shared something in common is redundant. You can replace itwith shared or with had something in common.
  • 8. #7 Most well-known can be replaced with best known.
  • 9. #8 Theres no need for unexpected surprise. A surprise is bydefinition unexpected.
  • 10. #9 Makes reference to can be replaced with refers to.
  • 11. #10 Pay money can be swapped for pay. Wordy phrases are everywhere, and Ive only touched on thissubject. Id love to hear which ones you want to put on thechopping block or kill with a red pen.
  • 12. Thank you for your attentionOlivia Roat is an inbound marketer in Buffalo, N.Y. Olivia is part of themarketing department at Mainstreethost, a digital marketing and businessdevelopment company specializing in SEO, paid search, social media andcontent marketing, and web development....