Writing can often be improved by excising unnecessary words and phrases.
Many writers use “crutch phrases” when they’re not sure how to start a sentence or how to connect two sentences. They’re often seen in corporate emails and copy:
As many of you are already aware, performance reviews will start next week.
The phrase “as many of you are already aware” is meaningless and doesn’t add anything to the sentence. The phrase can be removed, allowing you to jump straight into the sentence: “Performance reviews will start next week.”
Here’s another example:
Original: It is necessary for all employees to choose a health plan.
Revised: All employees must select a health plan.
Eliminating them will leave you with clear, concise sentences.
Below are other crutch words and phrases you can cut from your writing:
- As a matter of fact
- As you may already know
- At the present time
- Because of the fact that
- For all intents and purposes
- For the purpose of
- Given the fact that
- In case you haven’t heard
- In light of the fact that
- In my opinion
- In the event that
- It has come to my attention
- It is believed by many that
- It is interesting to note that
- It is well known that
- It may be said that
- Needless to say
- Please be advised that
- That said
What words or phrases would you add to this list?
Laura Hale Brockway is medical writer and editor from Austin, Texas. Read more of her work at impertinentremarks.com.
This article first ran on Ragan.com in Nov. 2015.