Department of redundancy department

When I was an assistant city editor, a buddy and I kept a list of redundant phrases that we had excised from the stories we rush-edited each night. It held more than a few classics. The best, I think, was “a three-part trio,” which one hapless scribe attempted to get past us. No luck.

Redundancies range from the dumb — “the robber ran off on foot” — to the careless. “Joined together with” is more effectively rendered as “joined.” A “brief moment” is just a “moment,” right?

Economical use of words separates solid writers from wannabes. (Another is the ability to discern between “its” and “it’s,” but that’s another post.) If you want your writing to be crisp and fitting for this day of 140-character limits and brief attention spans, cut what you don’t need.

For ideas on where to trim, check this list, and this one.

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