Editing for Grammarphobes: Cutting the Fat

Good Monday, everyone. In a little more than a week, the holiday season will be upon us, a time for merriment and feasting. So before we enter the season of excess, let's take a look at ways to tighten up our writing, to trim the fat, if you will.

Here are a few phrases that add unnecessary poundage to our prose.

Advanced planning: Planning by its very nature occurs in advance.

Bald-headed: Bald means to have little or no hair on the scalp, so no need to add the extra word.

Commute back and forth: If you are not going to and from something, I don’t think you are commuting.

Descend down: Since “descend” means to move down from a higher level, just use the verb.

Entirely eliminate: Eliminate means to eradicate something. The adverb is unnecessary.

Source: "200 Common Redundancies" by Richard Nordquist, http://grammar.about.com/od/words/a/redundancies.htm.


R. Doug Wicker said…
I used to work for the Department of Redundancy Department, so I know precisely what you mean.
Thanks, Kelly.

LOL, R. Doug. :)

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