cut-glutLast week, we talked about those wordy phrases you need to trim (and what to use instead). For example,  just say “enough” instead of “a sufficient amount of.”

Today, we are going to cover redundant phrases.

Here are the major infractions impeding your efforts to “cut the glut” followed by a list of other phrases you need to re-think.

Don’t Restate the Obvious

Your readers will know that squares are shapes and red is a color. Keep the first word in each of these pairs and delete the rest.

  • Square in shape
  • Red in color
  • Tall in height
  • Shorter in length
  • Brief in duration
  • Fewer in number
  • Resemble in appearance
  • Small in size

Let’s Not Get Together

The concept of togetherness is included in the words below. Don’t tack the word “together” on to them.

  • Assemble
  • Attach
  • Combine
  • Connect
  • Cooperate
  • Group
  • Join
  • Link
  • Unite

Know the Words Built into Acronyms

It’s important to know the words that acronyms stand for so you don’t repeat them in your sentences.

  • ATM means automated teller machine, so don’t say ATM machine.
  • CD means compact disc, so don’t say CD disc.
  • HIV means human immunodeficiency virus, so don’t say HIV virus. AIDS virus is OK.
  • PIN means personal identification number, so don’t say PIN number.

Many words have adjectives and adverbs built into their meaning.  Attaching modifiers to these words creates redundancies in our sentences.

  • actual experience = experience
  • added bonus = bonus
  • advance planning, reservations,
  • warning = planning, reservations,
  • warning
  • appears to be = appears or is
  • completely destroyed = destroyed
  • continue on = continue
  • contributing factor = factor
  • costs a total of = costs
  • current status = status
  • definite decision = decision
  • divide up = divide
  • exactly identical = identical
  • final conclusion = conclusion
  • foot pedal = pedal
  • foreign imports = imports
  • forward progress = progress
  • future prediction, plans =
  • predictions, plans
  • honest truth = truth
  • increase in increments = increase
  • inside of = inside
  • initial prototype = prototype
  • joint cooperation = cooperation
  • may possibly, might possibly =
  • may or might
  • most optimum = optimum
  • necessary requirement = requirement
  • new breakthrough = breakthrough
  • none at all = none
  • outside of = outside
  • outside periphery = periphery
  • postpone until later = postpone
  • protest against = protest
  • ask the question = ask
  • biography of his life = biography
  • cancel out = cancel
  • close proximity = close or near
  • consensus of opinion = consensus
  • rate of speed = speed
  • refer back = refer
  • repeat again = repeat
  • sharing the same = sharing
  • temporary loan = loan
  • true fact = fact
  • usual habit = habit
  • very unique = unique

We can also create redundancies by using two similar words when one will do. With these phrases, pick one word or the other, but don’t use both.

  • adequate enough
  • basic essentials
  • clearly evident
  • end result
  • filled to capacity
  • free gift
  • past history
  • period of time
  • reason is because
  • same identical
  • separate apart
  • sum total
  • time period

What else would you add to this list?

Published On: September 28, 2016|Categories: Nonprofit Writing|

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