Total Pageviews

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Get the Scissors -- Part II

Scissors?  Heck!  After looking at the list of commonly used redundant words, I think I need shears!

Prune your writing.  Make it concise. Avoid being redundant and making the following mistakes.

made (out) of
may (possibly)
merge (together)
minestrone (soup)

nape (of her neck)
(natural) instinct
never (before)
(new) invention
(new) recruit
none (at all)

off (of)
open (up)
(outside) in the yard

palm (of the hand)
(past) history
pick (and choose)
PIN (number)
plan (ahead)
(positive) identification
postpone (until later)
protest (against)

refer (back)
(regular) routine
repeat (again)

(safe) haven
since (the time when)
small (size)
(sudden) impulse
surrounded (on all sides)

(temper) tantrum
(true) facts
tuna (fish)
(two equal) halves

undergraduate (student)
(unexpected) surprise

visible (to the eye)

weather (conditions)
whether (or not)

Thinking about this list should help you to think about each word as you revise.  Avoid redundancy or Edward Scissorhands may be looking for you! 

Get the Scissors!

Quick!  Get the scissors!  We all need to cut redundant words from our writing and speaking.

Redundancy is unnecessary repetition in expressing ideas.  It's the use of too many words.  Do you really need to say "a bouquet of flowers"?  No.  A bouquet by definition is a bunch of flowers.  Do you need to write "circled around"?  No.  A ship can circle an iceberg.

Like many of us, do you use any of the following phrases?  If so, you can eliminate redundancy and tighten up your writing by keeping these in mind.

(absolutely) essential
(advance) planning or (advance) warning
(added) bonus
(armed) gunman

bald (-headed)
best (ever)
blend (together)

cold (temperature)
(completely) destroyed
(current) trend

each (and every)
(end) result
enter (in)
evolve (over time)
exact (same)

(fellow) classmates
few (in number)
first (of all)
(free) gift

gather (together)
(general) public
green (in color)

heat (up)
hurry (up)

indicted (on a charge)

join (together)

kneel (down)

lag (behind)
later (time)
(little) baby
look (ahead) to the future

*Find Part II on tomorrow's blog