Hack The Flab #3

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. Always – Be weary of absolutes. Use in commands or instructions only. Ex: Always wear your seat belt.
  2. Analysis – 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: His analysis of the data led to a cancer cure. Better: He analyzed the data and cured cancer.
  3. And etc. – Redundant Phrase. You don’t need and. Ex: She loved dogs, cats, frogs, and etc. Better: She loved dogs, cats, frogs, etc.
  4. Anonymous stranger – Redundant Phrase. You don’t need anonymous. Ex: An anonymous stranger sent her flowers. Better: A stranger sent her flowers.
  5. Anxiously – Weak Adverb. Replace with descriptive text. Ex. Larry waited anxiously. Better: Larry never looked away from the phone as he paced the room, sweat dripping off his head.
  6. Approach – 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 plane’s approach was met by the scramble of emergency crews. Better: The plane approached and emergency crews scrambled.
  7. Appearance – 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: His appearance caused gasps in the crowd. Better: He appeared and the crowd gasped.
  8. Are – Passive voice alert. Weak to-be verb alert. If a verb follows this word, your sentence might have passive voice. If are is used as a to-be verb phrase such as “there are,” rework your sentence. Ex: The movies are liked by Tom. Better: Tom likes the movies. Ex. There are movies that Tom hates. Better: Tom hates some movies.
  9. Area – Vague Noun. Cut or use more specific word. Ex: James left the area. Better: James left Maryland.
  10. Are after – Clunky verb construction. Use follow, or seek, or desire. Ex: The events are after the lecture. Better: The events follow the lecture. Ex: Determine what goals you are after. Better: Determine your goals.
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2 Comments on “Hack The Flab #3”

  1. Re: Ex: Determine what goals you are after. Better: Determine what goals you seek.

    Best: Determine your goals.


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