10 Tips For Killing Wordy WritingBy Olivia Roat, Published May 11, 2013
#1 Let’s start with two redundant phrases: “the reason why” and“the reason is because.” You can easily tighten sentences withthese phrases. Here’s how: I’m trying to determine the reason why everyone is obsessedwith cats. I’m trying to determine why everyone is obsessed with cats. You don’t 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. I’dopt for this sentence.)
#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.
#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 it’s already implied that at this very moment, my sister is insearch of a new cat. There’s no need for “currently.” Anotherexample: My cat currently has a bad cough. Again, the verb in this sentence is in the present tense. It’salready implied that at the present time, my cat has a badcough.
#4 There’s also no need for “revert back.” “Revert” means “toreturn to a former condition, period, or subject.” Ditch the“back” 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.
#5 Like “revert back,” “reply back” is redundant. Get rid of the“back.” People say cats can’t talk, but I swear my cat Theodorereplied to me.
#6 “Shared something in common” is redundant. You can replace itwith “shared” or with “had something in common.”
#7 “Most well-known” can be replaced with “best known.”
#8 There’s no need for “unexpected surprise.” A surprise is bydefinition unexpected.
#9 “Makes reference to” can be replaced with “refers to.”
#10 “Pay money” can be swapped for “pay.” Wordy phrases are everywhere, and I’ve only touched on thissubject. I’d love to hear which ones you want to put on thechopping block or kill with a red pen.
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....