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Five Reasons to Trim the Fat from Your Writing

Trim the fat from your writing—that is, be more concise—to avoid the following pitfalls:

1. Redundancy.

Redundancy refers to superfluous repetition or the use of overlapping words. For example, instead of saying, "Mark is a funny, hilarious, and comical person," simply say, "Mark is funny."

2. Cliches. 

A cliché is a sentence or phrase—usually expressing a popular or common thought or idea—that has lost originality, ingenuity, and impact because of its overuse. Instead of saying, "George is as old as the hills," say, "George is old."

3. Vagueness. 

Being vague means not clearly or explicitly stating or expressing a thought or idea. Instead of saying, "I'll get back to you later," be more specific and say, "I'll get back to you by tomorrow morning." 

4. Logorrhea. 

No, it's not an excess of logos; it's an excess of words! Using logorrhea is synonymous with being verbose or wordy. It's generally associated with pretentious language. Instead of saying, "I really have nothing at all to say today," say, "I have nothing to say."

5. Preamble lead-ins.

This means not going overboard with an introductory sentence or phrase. Instead of saying, "I am writing you this letter to let you know that I am resigning," say, "I am resigning."

Most of this trimming will occur throughout the editing process, so after you've done as much trimming as you can, consider enlisting the help of a professional editing service to catch and correct any remaing redundancy and vagueness.



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