A Guide to Stop Repeatedly Being Redundant Over and Over Again

Posted on August 16, 2011

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Why is it that the perfect word is never enough for us?  We seem always to want more.

I’m constantly encountering constructions like, “Additionally, we also deliver to your home” (if it’s in addition, it’s also—no need to restate that) or “We innovate new products that no one has ever conceived before” (stating the redundancies in that statement would be redundant in itself).  My favorite, of course, is, “The GUI is designed for easy use by the end user.” Unless someone is using it and passing it along to another user, “end” is redundant. “Consumer” or “employee” would be even better.

Maybe we need a glossary to help us trim the sideburns of redundancy that seem to grow wildly as we write.  Here is a start, extracted from Airfoil’s “Writing
with Style” seminar handbook, that may help you spot and remove redundant words and phrases:

Avoid: “on a daily basis”

Use:    “daily”

Avoid: “whether or not”

Use:    “if”

Avoid: “at this moment”

Use:   “now” or “yet”

Avoid: “bring to bear”

Use:   “apply” or “use”

Avoid: “cut down on”

Use:    “reduce”

Avoid:  “in order to”

Use:     “to”

Avoid:  “referred back to”

Use:     “referred to” or “referenced” or “cited”

Avoid: “added more to”

Use:    “added” or “added to”

Avoid: “with reference to”

Use:    “concerning” or “about”

Avoid:  “came closer to”

Use:    “approached” or “neared”

What are your favorite, chalkboard-grating redundancies?  Please add to the list through the comments feature in a timely manner (um, soon).

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