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Monday, March 5, 2012

Words to Write By: Clear & Concise Writing

I've posted about clearing out words that simply clutter up your writing here and here. The point of those posts were to emphasize the importance of presenting clean writing. Here's another reason: it makes your writing weaker when you use unnecessary words, especially adverbs.

Consider this, from Mignon Fogerty, better known on this blog as Grammar Girl:

Look for single-word modifiers that don't enhance your meaning, such as “very,” “really,” “totally,” “quite,” “actually,” “already,” “fairly,” and “much.” You may have seen ads touting a “very unique” product that's “really special” and comes with an “added bonus,” though it may be “currently unavailable.” Words like “very” are unnecessary and frequently redundant: If something is unique, then by definition it's one-of-a-kind; it can't be “more” one-of-a-kind.Copywriters insert these words for emphasis, but the result can be less emphatic and effective.

It's worth heading over and listening to the whole podcast.

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About Me!

I've been writing since I was old enough to grasp a crayon--my grandma even has an early copy of a "book" I made her. I have a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Wyoming and will (hopefully) soon be starting a graduate program in English. When I'm not breaking up impromptu UFC fights in the living room or losing miserably to my boys at Uno, I'm ... well, writing or editing, of course! I'm married to my best friend, and we have three rambunctious but simply amazing little boys.


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