Photo Credit: OnBloggingWell.com
One of the easiest way to achieve conciseness in your writing is by removing wordy phrases. Wordy Phrases are long sentences that can be replaced by a single word (or few words) without changing the meaning of a sentence.
a number of = some
a majority of = most
A majority of technical writers enjoy writing.
Most technical writers enjoy writing.
beyond a shadow of a doubt = <> (Can be deleted)
Technical writers enjoy writing beyond a shadow of a doubt
Technical writers enjoy writing.
based on the fact that = since/because
Based on the fact that technical writers enjoy writing, they might like reading as well.
Because technical writers enjoy writing, they might like reading as well.
conduct an investigation into = investigate
We will conduct an investigation into the poor quality of user guides.
We will investigate the poor quality of user guides.
due to the fact that = because
derived great pleasure from = enjoyed/appreciated
I derived great pleasure from reading your book.
I enjoyed reading your book.
extend an invitation = invite
economically deprived = poor
Gambling made him economically deprived.
Gambling made him poor.
from the point of view of = from/for
for the purpose of = to/for
We went to Niagara falls for the purpose of entertainment.
We went to Niagara falls for entertainment.
give consideration to = consider
Give consideration to wiki as a help authoring tool.
Consider wiki as a help authoring tool.
hold a meeting = meet
has the ability to/has the capability = can
John has the ability to publish context sensitive help.
John can publish context sensitive help.
in a clear way = clearly
in a careful manner = carefully
Talk to geeks in a careful manner.
Talk to geeks carefully.
joint collaboration = collaboration
Join together = join
Let’s join together for a meeting in the cafeteria.
Let’s join for a meeting in the cafeteria.
last but not least = finally
Last but not least, we must proofread our writing.
Finally, we must proofread our writing.
make an examination of = examine
make an assumption = assume
Let’s make an assumption, for a moment, that technical writers get more respect than software developers.
Let’s assume, for a moment, that technical writers get more respect than software developers.
not withstanding the fact that = although/despite/even if/however
new record = record
He set a new record!
He set a record!
on most occasions = usually
on a daily basis, on a regular basis = daily, regularly
He jogged for three miles on a daily basis.
He jogged for three miles daily.
per annum = annually/yearly
He received a $5000 pension per annum.
He received a $5000 pension annually.
realize a savings of = save
regardless of the fact that = although
Regardless of the fact that you know HTML, you still need to learn RoboHelp.
Although you know HTML, you still need to learn RoboHelp.
says exactly the same thing = repeats
My parrot says exactly the same thing.
My parrot repeats.
to a large degree = largely
take into consideration = consider
Take into consideration the price when you compare RoboHelp and Madcap Flare.
Consider the price when you compare RoboHelp and Madcap Flare.
until such time = until
unintentional mistake = mistake
He made an unintentional mistake.
He made a mistake.
whether or not = whether
we are of the opinion = we believe/we think
We are of the opinion that wiki is the future of technical writing.
We believe that wiki is the future of technical writing.
I’m curious to know if you also encounter wordy phrases at your work. Leave a comment and let me know.
Pingback: Getting Rid of Misplaced Modifiers « Technical Writing ToolBox
Interesting article Gurpreet. I am dealing with most of these while editing tech documents as part of my job. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for your comment Samir.
I enjoyed your book.
I enjoyed reading your book.
The first guy enjoyed it for the wrong reason?
Let’s join in the cafeteria.
What do you mean?
You have a good eye for editing and thanks for pointing out incorrect examples in my article. I’ve corrected the examples.
Very useful information. Thanks for thinking of us
Pingback: A few links for the end of the week | Words on a page
Both sentences in example B-2 are imprecise. As structured, they mean that like writing causes liking reading. “Because technical writers like writing, WE MIGHT SUSPECT that they enjoy reading as well.”
Pingback: Entry # 4: Resources for Technical Writing – Technical Writing Insider