• Is there a word for what you
– How many there are = quantity
• Are you using unnecessary
– The fact of the matter is, it’s
cold = It’s cold.
• Is there a more succinct way
to say it?
– I took all of her jewelry from
her jewelry box = I emptied
her jewelry box
• “Bennett warmed to the
idea of an ambitious Arctic
• From Hampton Sides’ In the
Kingdom of Ice
• By way of a tale of a famous
newspaper stunt, we meet
an eccentric publishing
tycoon, James Gordon
Bennett Jr. We learn that
this man heralds the kinds
of stories the public wants
to hear, but not without
– From my review of In the
Kingdom of Ice
• Repetition can be effective.
– He came. He saw. He conquered.
• And sometimes redundancy it can be blah, such
as overuse of a name or particular term. Instead,
change up your words and name references:
– Donna Talarico is speaking at BlogCon. She’s doing a
session about words. The Lancaster-native is glad to
be here. A former journalist, she really love words.
“It’s true,” said the word nerd.
– Banana boxes later becomes Chiquita crates
Anaphora in action
• Part — OK, most — of the allure of Iceland is its
landscape of geological wonders. Volcanoes included.
So I was both nervous and excited when, a week before
my September 2014 trip to the little island country, a
lava-filled mountain started to spew. Bardarbunga’s
eruption closed some far-off roads and made for some
pretty photos and videos, but its activity didn’t cause
any air travel woes, unlike the 2010 explosion of
Eyjafjallajökull, which sent miles of ash into the air and
grounded flights to and from Europe for days.
– From my article “Land of Fire and … Elves” (TheBlot.com)
• The ball was shot by him. A
score was made.
• A cake was baked.
• Clapping was heard in the
• A fun time was had by all.
• A baby was born.
• Oops! Something went
• He shoots! He scores!
• Mom baked a cake.
• The audience erupted in
• Everyone had fun.
• We had a baby!
• Oops! You did something
Sometimes passive is OK. Like when you don’t want to blame
someone(as in my example in green), the person acting is irrelevant,
you want to emphasize the subject or you need to be vague.
• Let simmer
• Read aloud
• Print out a hard copy
• Proof vs. edit
• Editing-induced errors
– You know the one: the ‘ol sentence rearranging and accidental
leave behind of a word
• Weak words
• Unnecessary or “fluff” words
– A real thesaurus
– Grammarly or similar
– Word puzzles (Games)
– Austin Kleon (Steal Like an Artist)
– Paul Smith(Lead with a Story)
– Not your usual reading material