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.

 

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3 Comments on “Hack The Flab #12”

  1. Wow, I am so glad to find this site…and I have no idea that we could have written our blog posts so much better! Thanks so much. One question, do you have a RSS feed? I can’t find the “subscribe” icon…. Thank you. Please keep posting.

  2. I’m with Megan. I’ve just been reading through some of the ‘Hack The Flab’ posts and I’d love to get this site hooked up to Google Reader. An RSS feed or email subscription option would be great.

    Oh, and great writing tips!


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