Be concise–cut these 6 words and phrases


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So you aren’t writing the great American novel. But you might send your donors a fundraising letter, send an inter-office email or write a blog post for your audience. A wordy message will confuse or bore your readers. Or worse–they won’t read most of it.

You don’t have to be an expert to learn how to be concise. Start making your business writing more effective by cutting these six words and phrases—

Expletives–Phrases like there is/there are are called expletives when used as a dummy subject at the beginning of a sentence. These phrases make weak sentences.

Change “There are 41,000 miles of roads that South Carolina maintains” to “South Carolina maintains 41,000 miles of roads.”

Literally–Often used to exaggerate a point. If your meaning is clear, this word is unnecessary.

RedundancyATM machineclose personal friend and 12 noon are examples of redundancy. Unnecessarily saying something twice often sets a stumbling block for your reader.

Jargon–Develop an eye for industry jargon. Avoid using too many technical terms unless you need them. If you need to use jargon, you should either know that your reader will be familiar with the term or explain it simply.

Vagueness–Cut words like “things.” Populate your marketing with details.

Let me explain–I repeatedly ran across this phrase in a book recently. It was an impediment to reading and plain annoying. Keep it simple–if you write a strong statement and you explain it clearly, you won’t need apologetic phrases like let me explain.

Making these changes will lighten and tighten your writing and make readers more responsive to your message.


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