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.