Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Grammarly Deets #3

Last week the topic was passive words, the week before ... overused words. This week I'm focusing on unnecessary or excess words. Yes, we use them when we talk or write an informal email, text, etc, and no one much cares. On the other hand, whether it's fiction or nonfiction, when it counts, (as in you're trying to get published or earn that A+ on your latest school assignment) be more concise, i.e. get rid of excess words. Sometimes, the solution is to simply replace an expression that contains three or more words with a more specific term. Example? in front of can sometimes be replaced with before or ahead. A few other examples are: at the back = behind; out of = from/away/beyond
off of = off.

Of course, I'm not implying these all must be changed. Remember, you are looking for concise writing, writing that expresses what you want to say in a smooth, flowing manner. This attracts readers. This keeps them interested to read to the last page. 

One tip that comes to mind in searching for more exact synonyms is to use the thesaurus feature in Word. It's helped me when I draw a blank on replacements. However, I'm passing along this link which gives 50 wordy expressions with their one word substitutes. Caution: I don't favor all of them. For instance, replacing in order that with so. (refer back to last week's post on passive words.)

So (haha!), there you have it. Go forth and chisel away at those wordy expressions and enjoy your week!

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