Why should unnecessary words and phrases be eliminated?
Unnecessary words and phrases result in redundancy. A writer can achieve efficiency in writing by using concise words and phrases that denote clear meaning. Each word should contribute to the argument and purpose of an assignment; if a word or phrase can be removed from a sentence without affecting its meaning, it should be eliminated.
How can unnecessary words or phrases be eliminated?
- Revise redundant phrases, synonymous terms, and unnecessary word pairs.
- Quickly speeding (speeding implies quickness)
- Young teenage mothers (young and teenage are synonyms)
- Financial cost (financial and cost both imply money)
- Revise redundant terms in order to be more efficient.
- Redundant: Young adults should self-assess their situation before making a big, life-changingdecision.
- Revised: Young adults should assess their situation before making a major decision.
- Remove redundant adjectives and adverbs; use only those that contribute to the intended message.
- Overuse of adjectives: The large, angry, noisy crowd stormed the Capital building.
- Revised: The mob stormed the Capital building.
- Overuse of adverbs: She carefully and quietly walked through the room.
- Revised: She crept through the room.
- Remove redundant modifiers; overuse clutters the writing and distracts the reader.
- Overuse of modifiers: The business capitalists, who focus on domestic interests, only really invest in American groups.
- Revised: The business capitalists rarely invest in international groups.
For additional information on eliminating unnecessary words, see also Editing for Economy in Appendix