Hack The Flab #12

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. Estimated at about –Redundant Phrase. You don’t need at about. Ex: Construction costs estimated at about three million dollars. Better: Construction costs estimated three million dollars.
  2. Every single person – Redundant Phrase. You don’t need single (unless referring to marital status). Ex: Every single person should attend. Better: Every person should attend.
  3. Evolve over time – Redundant Phrase. You don’t need over time. Ex: Relationships evolve over time. Better: Relationships evolve.
  4. Exact same – Redundant Phrase. You don’t need exact. Ex: They spoke at the exact same time. Better: They spoke at the same time.
  5. Facility – Stilted phrase. Say exactly what an object is (school, hospital, government building). Ex. The facility had a large cafeteria. Better: Johnson Elementary School had a large cafeteria.
  6. Factor – Dull, unnecessary word. Replace with a verb. Ex: Avid reading was a factor in his reading ability. Better: Avid reading helped his writing.
  7. Failure – 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 failure was caused by not studying. Better: He failed because he didn’t study.
  8. Fall/Fell down – Redundant Phrase. You don’t need down. Ex: If you fall down, try again. Better: If you fall, try again.
  9. Favorable approval – Redundant Phrase. You don’t need favorable. Ex: The drawings received favorable approval from the planning board. Better: The drawings received approval from the planning board. Best: The planning board approved the drawings.
  10. Fellow classmate – Redundant Phrase. You don’t need fellow. Ex: A fellow classmate teased Johnny. Better: A classmate teased Johnny.