The Write Stuff
July 2023 Volume 20 Issue 7

Eliminate redundancies

Since being concise when you write is important, redundancy is obviously something to avoid. What is redundancy? It’s using more words than necessary to express something—especially words and/or phrases in the same sentence that mean the same thing. Consider this sentence: “We hope you’ll attend our upcoming seminar on July 25.” Is the word upcoming really necessary? I consider it redundant and always remove it when a specific date is provided.Here are some examples of redundant phrases:

  • small in size or large in size
  • true facts
  • basic fundamentals
  • past history
  • smiled happily
  • evolve over time

Using “-ly” adverbs also often results in redundancy:

  • shouted loudly
  • raced hurriedly
  • whispered softly
  • deliberated thoughtfully
  • finished completed
  • jumped quickly

When you’re reviewing your writing, focus on eliminating redundancies and ensuring your sentences are as concise as possible. Remember this quote from Strunk and White, authors of The Elements of Style: “Rich, ornate prose is hard to digest, generally unwholesome, and sometimes nauseating.”

Want a puppy?

If reading all those idioms featuring dogs got you in the mood to add one to your household, here’s your chance. One of my neighbors has one adorable Labradoodle puppy—10 weeks old—who needs a loving home. He and his eight siblings were born in Minnesota but he’s one of lucky ones who gets to be a California dog. Let me know if you’re interested in an introduction.

Other animal idioms

Dogs aren’t the only animals to be featured in idioms. Check out these:

  • Fly on the wall
  • Make a beeline
  • Kill two birds with one stone
  • Sitting duck
  • Chicken out
  • Wild goose chase
  • Take the bull by the horns
  • Horse around
  • Until the cows come home
  • Dark horse
  • Hold your horses
  • Straight from the horse’s mouth
  • Go whole hog
  • In two shakes of a lamb’s tail
Published On: July 18th, 2023 / Categories: 2023 /

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