I’ve always been a firm advocate for getting your point across in as few words as possible. Today’s readers are more pressed for time than ever before, and as it relates to PR, reporters are bombarded by pitches all day long, so the faster you can get to the point, the better.
Unfortunately, a lot of writers have a tendency to use redundant phrases that bog down their writing. Using unnecessary words doesn’t just make your press release, article, blog, email, etc. longer, it also makes it weaker and muddles whatever point you’re trying to make. Keeping your sentences crisp and clear can add punch to your writing, helping you get your point across more effectively.
With that in mind, I’ve come up with a list of 20 redundant phrases you should strive to eliminate from your writing.
What are some other redundant phrases that drive you nuts? Share your favorites by commenting below.
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (https://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download a free copy of the PR Checklist – a 24 point list of Press Release Dos and Don’ts here: https://www.ereleases.com/free-offer/pr-checklist/
Well said Mickie. But I dont quite agree with you on the word ‘notice’. This word can attract the adjective ‘advance’ because not all notice is given in advance. More, see below Merriam Webster 11th Collegiate Dictionary’s definition of ‘notice’. Thumbs up!
NOTICE: warning or intimation of something : ANNOUNCEMENT (2) : the announcement of a party’s intention to quit an agreement or relation at a specified time (3) : the condition of being warned or notified — usually used in the phrase on notice b : INFORMATION, INTELLIGENCE
2 a : ATTENTION, HEED b : polite or favorable attention : CIVILITY
3 : a written or printed announcement
4 : a short critical account or review
My fav: “in order to” — arrgh. Just “to.”
This is not a redundant phrase but it is a phrase I dislike seeing in marketing or advertising: “New and Improved”.
It’s either NEW or it’s IMPROVED it can’t be both.
I hate this one: “I thought to myself…”
Who else could you think to?
That is a good one! How about ” ‘my personal’ experience/thought/opinion”
How about “ International contestants from all over the world”
That one just kills me!
#3 – How about just “now”? Sometimes the use of present tense is enough.
Another one for the list: first started, first introduced, etc.
Have you ever tried to converse in a foreign language? After asking someone to repeat a specific sentence/word/phrase/saying three times, you might want to ask them to repeat it again 😉
Thanks Amiek. Good advice.
Another one is “down below”.
“Currently right now” arrrgh
“Good or bad quality”. Quality is by definition the level of goodness of something! Low/high or rich/poor is better.:
Maybe you should take a step back and remove yourself from the situation.
Is it correct? or should I not use “remove” because it’s gonna be redundant?
I disagree with 11, 12, and 13.
11 – Breakthroughs can be of varying degrees. The term “minor breakthrough would be acceptable in many contexts.
12 – This is almost always used in a figurative or poetic sense. A person can experience many beginnings. When you move to a new city or get a new job, you wouldn’t say, “It’s a beginning for me,” would you? Sounds rather less impactful.
13 – A particular field can have many innovations. Anti-lock brakes were an innovation, predictive braking is a new innovation. It may be redundant, but it adds context.
Don’t think that I saw any “shared togethers” on the list …
I like a lot of these. One I would question would be, “new news” because news, in itself is “new” but you could also say, “old news” and that’s ok.
more a spoken thing maybe, but “2 a.m. in the morning”? nails on chalkboard
Most of the time when people say “individuals,”
“people” would be the better choice.
Excellent, Mickie. Some of these redundancies are so ingrained that we have forgotten the proper grammer rules.
Thanks for reminding us!
Err . . . That’s “grammar”.