Hack The Flab #5

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. As yet –Flabby expression. You don’t need as. Ex: No word on survivors as yet. Better: No word on survivors yet.
  2. At all times – Empty phrase. Don’t use or fix. Ex: Be careful driving at all times. Better: Always drive carefully.
  3. Attempt – Use simpler replacement, like try. This word can be nominalization too (verb or adjective turned into a noun). Use the verb or adjective form for more powerful sentences. Ex: Attempt it again. Better: Try again. Ex: His attempt at comedy was met with failure. Better: He attempted some comedy but failed miserably.
  4. At the end of the day – Empty Phrases. Don’t use it. Ex: At the end of the day, it’s the toughest that survive. Better: The toughest survive.
  5. At the present time – Empty Phrase. Don’t use or fix. Ex: I have no money at the present time. Better: I have no money now. I currently have no money.
  6. At this point in time – Empty Phrase. Don’t use or fix. Ex: At this point in time, I know better. Better: Now I know better.
  7. Bald-headed – Redundant Phrase. You don’t need headed. Ex: He was bald-headed. Better: He was bald.
  8. Basic necessities – Redundant Phrase. You don’t need basic. Ex: Prepare for disasters by stocking basic necessities. Better: Prepare for disasters by stocking necessities.
  9. Belief – Nominalization (verb or adjective turned into a noun). Use the verb or adjective form for more powerful sentences. Ex: It’s his belief that editing can be done with ease. Better: He believes editing is easy.
  10. Best ever Redundant Phrase. You don’t need ever. Ex: John’s party was the best ever. Better: John’s party was the best.
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9 Comments on “Hack The Flab #5”

  1. Good list.

    In no. 41, though, you mean, “You don’t need ‘as’.”

    I wish we could think of a less clunky word than “nominalization.” Nounification (c.f., Disneyfication) won’t do. Nouning?

    Thanks.

    • Shane says:

      @Rachel: You made me laugh aloud. Thanks. Yeah, I may have to change that word to something else. Love Disneyfication. Might call it Flabification. Thanks for spotting the error. I usually post around 9-midnight so I’m surprised I don’t have more errors. 😉

  2. Patrick says:

    I think #1 should read “You don’t need as.”

  3. Glad Doggett says:

    I love this series on trimming the fat. It’s helpful and needed.

    Thanks!

  4. advocaten says:

    Hi there just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your content seem to be running off the screen in Opera. I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know. The style and design look great though! Hope you get the problem fixed soon. Many thanks

  5. Hey! Quick question that’s completely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My web site looks weird when browsing from my iphone. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to fix this problem. If you have any suggestions, please share. Many thanks!


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