Do you often find that your writing needs to lose weight?
Just because your fitness resolutions may have failed. Doesn’t mean that your writing resolutions need to.
Here are some tips to help you tighten up your writing!
- Remove the Padding
You’ve heard them, and you may possibly use them: those phrases that sound grand, but are really just a pile of padding. These little gems include: “at all times” (use always); “at the present time” (try “now”); “for the purpose of” (“for”). Get a grip, get ‘em outta there, and get to the good stuff!
Padded: At this point in time, the software is expensive due to the fact that it has no competition.
Revised: The software is expensive now because it has no competition.
- Jettison the Pretention & Jargon
Nobody likes a pretentious pencil shaver. Try your best to make sure your writing does not sound robotic. You’re better than that! (I hope!)
Pretention/Jargon: The necessity for individuals to become separate entities in their own right may impel children to engage in open rebelliousness against parental authority or against sibling influence, with the resultant confusion of those being rebelled against.
With the aid of a Universal Translator: Children’s natural desire to become themselves may make them rebel against bewildered parents or siblings.
- Don’t be a copycat
Without even knowing it, we tend to write sentences that are pretty much just reiterating what we’ve already said. Go line by line to make sure that all your sentences are complementary… not copycats. Cut down on clutter in your papers by saying what you need to say only once.
Wordy: Many unskilled workers without training in a particular job are unemployed and do not have any work.
Revised: Many unskilled workers are unemployed.
(All references from The Little, Brown Handbook. 3rd Canadian Ed. Toronto: Addison, Wesley, Longman, 2001)
I know, I know, you may think that cutting out words/sentences makes you sound less intelligent. But I’ll tell you what’s NOT intelligent: sounding like a rambling word-bag, or a broken record. This is 2017! Join us in this millennium and get your word mess in check!
Want some more info? Check out this website: https://writeconcisely.com/2015/01/28/concise-writing-tips/
Take soon, my fierce friends,