Infographic: Words and phrases you should always cut

Explaining a topic concisely is difficult, but eliminating superfluous words and expressions will streamline—and clarify—your prose.

English has many beautiful words, but sometimes writers cram too many into one sentence.

Explaining a topic concisely isn’t easy. Still, the more words you use, the more likely you’ll lose your readers’ attention.

If you have trouble keeping your word count in check (and we all do, from time to time), check out this infographic from Global English Editing. It lists 23 words and phrases to eliminate from your writing to keep it clear and concise.

Among the offenders:

  • “Very”: Replace every “very” phrase with a strong adjective. For example, “It was scorching,” provides more detail and interest than, “It was very hot.”
  • “Just”: This word “never adds value to your writing and takes up extra space.”
  • “That”: If you can remove “that” from a sentence and still have the sentence make sense, the word must go.
  • “Whether or not”: Use “whether”; “or not” is superfluous.
  • “For all intents and purposes”: This phrase is writing fluff.

What other redundant words and phrases do you cut? Please sound off in the comments.

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