One hindrance to good writing is the use of deadwood phrases or expressions. Writing to be effective must be CONCISE, CLEAR and ACCURATE.
Another term for deadwood is being verbose or wordy in writing. It is the use of several words when one word is enough to express an idea. The following are few examples of commonly used deadwood phrases and the suggested alternative:
- majority of – most
- a sufficient amount of – enough
- in the near future – soon
- not with standing the fact that – although
- as of this time – now
- due to the fact that – because
A writer must always avoid using unnecessary words. Length is not synonymous to good content. Here are some helpful tips in order to refrain from deadwood expressions:
1. Use simple words.
There is indeed beauty and clarity in simplicity. Words which are easy to understand even by the most ordinary person or average reader are most preferred.
Simple words do not mean that the idea being conveyed is also simple or insignificant.
2. Avoid redundancy.
Redundancy means there is a surplus of words, unnecessary to the meaning. It is a tendency to express an idea using two words that mean the same thing.
Below are common examples of redundancies and their alternatives:
- Repeat again – repeat; again
- EXTREME!!! repeat it again once more for the second time – repeat; again;
- Each and every one – each one; every one
- Gather together – gather; assemble
- The reason is because – because