Hack The Flab #6

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. Big –Weak adjective. Replace with something more precise. Ex: He was a big man. Better: He was six feet tall and 250 pounds.
  2. Blend together – Redundant Phrase. You don’t need together. Ex: The colors blend together nicely. Better: The colors blend nicely
  3. Bouquet of flowers – Redundant Phrase. You don’t need of flowers. Ex: The bouquet of flows was beautiful. Better: The bouquet was beautiful.
  4. Brief moment – Redundant Phrase. You don’t need brief. Ex: For a brief moment, he was speechless. Better: For a moment, he was speechless.
  5. Brilliance – Nominalization (verb or adjective turned into a noun). Use the verb or adjective form for more powerful sentences. Ex: Not all posts require brilliance. Better: Not all posts must be brilliant.
  6. Cacophony of sound – Redundant Phrase. You don’t need of sound. Ex: The cacophony of sound from the band annoyed the crowd. Better: The cacophony from the band annoyed the crowd.
  7. Cameo appearance – Redundant Phrase. You don’t need appearance. Ex: The famous actor’s cameo appearance caused a riot. Better: The actor’s cameo caused a riot.
  8. Can – Authority Alert. If you believe something is true, don’t say, “It can do something.” Say, “It will do something.” Ex: Following these tips can improve your writing. Better: Following these tips will improve your writing.
  9. Cancel out – Redundant Phrase. You don’t need out. Ex: It’s too late to cancel out my subscription. Better: It’s too late to cancel my subscription.
  10. Care about Flabby verb construction. Use value or like to save a word. Ex: Do your readers care about grammar? Better: Do your readers value grammar?
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4 Comments on “Hack The Flab #6”

  1. Tracy says:

    Shane,

    Your efforts are appreciated. So much so I am going to bookmark the links. Great job.

    Tracy
    http://www.TracyLDarity.com

  2. […] Today, Editing Hacks used Cacophony in this post. […]

  3. This is just what I need to keep me reminded of how to trim by writing.

    • Shane says:

      @Kathleen: Thank you for taking the time to comment. I’m glad you find use in the site. I’ll have some more hacks posted shortly.


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