In writing, using unnecessary words only makes your message open vulnerable to misinterpretation or more difficult to send and prone to misunderstanding. A writer’s purpose is to send a clear and concise message, and being too wordy defeats that purpose.
The usual culprits of wordiness are redundancy, fluffy modifiers, jargons, and the passive voice. The first step to eradicate wordiness from your writing is to understand these concepts.
Contrary to popular belief, redundancy does not exactly mean beingis incorrectly defined as repetitive. —Tto define it as omissible is much better. In essence, redundant words repeat and express the same idea, which make them unnecessary. TheyIn other words, redundancy takes space without adding any meaning to the sentence at all, just extra words.
Forever and ever
• Fluffy Modifiers
This is a concept that budding writers often overlook., and Tthey think that this is a good style of writing, but —it’s not. Fluffy modifiers are not only excessive, but they also put you at risk of sounding pompous.
Henry can’t go out due to the fact that he hasn’t finished his homework. However, in the event that he finishes early, you can come visit him.
Henry can’t go out because he hasn’t finished his homework. However, if he finishes early, you can come visit him.
In some cases, you just have to simplify the wording, like from very scared to terrified, from very happy to jubilant, and from not correct to incorrect or wrong.
Jargon is alsoconsidered as a writing trap for novicebeginning writers. It is used to communicate ideas of a certain field using technical terms. In other words, to use it properly, you’d have to choose your audience correctly. Professionals use this to clearly send their ideas to readers who are in the same industry or trade as they are.; Hhowever, some writers mistake this for educated or sophisticated writing.
For instance, strategic and end user are terms used in business that can be simplified and shortened.
Wilson’s strategic planning for the presentation won over our new client.
The end users will find our program’s latest version easy to use.
What’s wrong about the first example is that strategic doesn’t really add anything to the meaning because planning already meansdefines that some strategic thinking is involved. In the second example, there is simply a better way to say end user, and that is customer. You may end up sounding a bit pretentious if you prefer to use end user.
• Passive Voice
The passive voice is not grammatically incorrect, and it can even be used to enhance the impact of your writing, but in most cases, the active voice is the better choice, most especially when it comes to avoid wordiness. Not only does the active voice reduce the necessary words to send your message, but it also makes your message clearer.
Your application has been denied by the company because you did not meet the requirements.
The latest proposed bylaw was vetoed by the Xavier Village homeowners association.
The Xavier Village homeowners association vetoed the latest proposed bylaw.
The company denied your application because you did not meet the requirements.
To be a credible writer, you should understand these concepts well. When used correctly, some of these could even be effective and beneficial in sending your message. Incidentally, some beginners also abuse wordiness to meet word count requirements., Bbut in doing so, they are inadvertently harming their credibility as writers. Do not be wordy. Be clear and concise.
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