Redundancies in writing happen far too often. But it’s easier to avoid redundancies in writing than you might think! To make your written piece more concise and easier to read, you need to get to the point fast and with a clear intention.
Having redundancies creep into the writing is at times inevitable. Therefore the writer should be very conscious about this aspect of writing. By sticking to the specific idea and providing more information instead of unnecessary words and phrases, you avoid clutter and fluff that do not contribute much to the crux of the material.
How to Avoid Redundancies in Writing
Here are some tips and examples on redundancies, so you can avoid them in your next article.
Avoid Using Double Negatives
This is a basic concept in writing. Although there are instances in which double negatives can be used, they are just used to highlight certain ideas or irony. Other than these instances, double negatives should be avoided as they are totally confusing. The sentence will also appear shorter when they are not used. These are created by combining a verb’s negative form, such as “have not,” “did not” and “cannot” with a negative pronoun like “nobody” and “nothing;” a negative conjunction like “neither” and “nor” or a negative adverb like “hardly” and “never.” Sentences such as “I didn’t see nothing,” or “She is not unattractive” are examples of double negatives.
Beware of Pleonasm
This is usually the term used when referring to a phrase that repeats itself. For instance, you say “12 midnight” instead of just saying midnight. It is also the same when you say “3 a.m. in the morning” when “3 a.m.” would already suffice. Another example is, “I saw everything with my own eyes” when you can just say, “I saw everything.” It can also appear in a sentence. For instance, “I wrote an autobiography about my own life” when autobiography is already understood.
Be Careful When Using Abbreviations
For instance, people would say ATM machine when the M in ATM already stands for machine. Another example is CPU unit. CPU actually means Central Processing Unit. Finally, a common example is HIV virus. The V in HIV already stands for virus. Sometimes, it is easy to overlook this mistake since everyone is already used to it.
Use Intensifiers Appropriately
Intensifiers include words such as severely, extremely and very. We use these words to highlight something in a sentence. However, in most cases, they serve no purpose and look like filler content.
Be Conscious of Language Origin
This could be another source of redundancy. For instance, the word anniversary came from the Latin word annum, which means year. Therefore, it is enough to say 25th anniversary. However, most people would say 25th year anniversary.
Remove Unnecessary Phrases
This could make the sentence shorter but still retain its thought. Among these phrases are “As a matter of fact,” “Due to the fact that,” “As far as I’m concerned,” “In the event that,” “First and foremost,” and many more.
Always Observe the “Less is More” Rule
Find a way to shorten a sentence without sacrificing the message that you want to convey. Let’s suppose you work with a specific word count target. The best thing to do is sourcing more important facts instead of using unnecessary filler content. Nothing causes a reader to bounce quicker than filler fluff.
Now You Know How to Avoid Redundancies in Writing!
These are some of the most common tips to help you avoid redundancies. Keep them in mind so that you can make improvements on your next writing assignment.