By Kendall Martin
“I simply hate, detest, loathe, despise and abhor redundancy.”
When one word will do, there is no need to use two.
Experienced writers know to look over their work for words, phrases—even sentences—that can be eliminated. The point is to get the message across clearly in as few words as possible. But even a staunch nitpicker can occasionally get tripped up by redundant phrases. Some of these phrases are so common that you might not even notice the redundancy.
I find these examples particularly grating:
- End result.
- Completely full.
- Other alternative.
- First began.
- Continue on.
When I read them, I immediately think about how ridiculous they sound. End result? Isn’t the result always the end of something? Other alternative? Isn’t the alternative the other?
People often use redundancies in an effort to add emphasis. But they fail to realize that those sorts of phrases make them come across as inexperienced writers. Luckily, all it takes are a couple revisions to eliminate unnecessary words and compose clear, concise copy.
Which redundancies bug you most?