- Unneeded Words -
When we use unneeded words or expressions, we draw attention away from what we want to say. Such superfluous expressions also make our sentences unnecessarily long. Because we want to avoid distracting or boring the reader, we should always strive to remove the deadwood. Watch for the common errors shown below:
We need to properly measure the flow rate.
We need to measure the flow rate.
The note gives the necessary conditions for setting sail.
The note gives the conditions for setting sail.
Meng has his own particular way of naming cliffs.
Meng has his own way of naming cliffs.
Captain Zhou demanded the appropriate fee.
Captain Zhou demanded the fee.
The map of the Chang Jiang agrees with the associated handbook.
The map of the Chang Jiang agrees with the handbook.
Notice that in each of the first sentences the underlined deadwood provides little content. In most instances it only misleads. But when the deadwood is removed, the sentence is much more readable and direct.