Hack The Flab #1

Hack the flab from your writing or your readers might shout obscenities in your direction stop reading. Avoid the following 10 examples of flab:

  1. About – Try not to use this term when you are approximating measurements. Use approximately or a range instead. Ex: About 20 people attended. Better: Approximately 20 people attended. (OR) Between fifteen and twenty people attended.
  2. Absolutely essential – Redundant Phrase. You don’t need absolutely. Ex: Water is absolutely essential to this recipe. Better: Water is essential to this recipe.
  3. Absolutely necessary – Redundant Phrase. You don’t need absolutely. Ex: Reading is absolutely necessary to write well. Better: Reading is necessary to write well.
  4. Accuracy – Nominalization (Wordiness introduced when someone uses the noun equivalent of a verb or adjective). Use the verb or adjective form for more powerful sentences.  Ex: The accuracy of his report wasn’t great. Better: His report wasn’t accurate.
  5. Actual facts – Redundant Phrase. You don’t need actual. Ex: Listen to the actual facts of the case. Better: Listen to the facts of the case.
  6. Admit to – Flabby expression. Drop to. Ex: You should admit to stealing the coat. Better: You should admit stealing the coat.
  7. Advance forward – Redundant Phrase. You don’t need forward. Ex: The army advanced forward. Better: The army advanced.
  8. Advance planning – Redundant Phrase. You don’t need advance. Ex: The heist required advance planning. Better: The heist required planning.
  9. Advance warning– Redundant Phrase. You don’t need advance. Ex: The storm hit with no advance warning. Better: The storm hit with no warning.
  10. Add an additional – Redundant Phrase. You don’t need an additional. Add an additional meal to your daily diet. Better: Add a meal to our daily diet.


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2 Comments on “Hack The Flab #1”

  1. Wow Shane! I love this stuff. I’ll have to use this as a reference whenever I write my posts from now on.

    Jared


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