When you "decide"
rather than "make a decision," you're using one word in place of three.
When you say "Please register" instead of "Please sign
up at the registration desk," you are using two words instead of
seven. Using fewer words makes your writing clearer and saves time.
Examples of simple
|reach a resolution
Drop words that
don't add anything to the text. Convey your message in as few words
as possible, directly and simply. Look for deadwood and prune it out
of your writing.
I understand how, with your busy schedule of day-to-day activities,
it will be difficult for you to wait at your house for delivery when
our package arrives, so I have taken pains to ensure that the delivery
person will let you know well in advance when he or she will make
the UPS delivery to your house.
I understand how your busy schedule will make it difficult for you
to be at home for our delivery, so I have asked UPS to let you know
when the delivery will be made.
Note: The revised text is shorter by 40 percent. That means
the writer wrote the message in 40 percent less time and the reader
received the message 40 percent faster. The reader can
then act more quickly.
Cutting Words Without Losing Meaning
Rewrite this sentence substituting shorter, simpler words:
to your e-mail of January 10 requesting the procedure for installation of the software, the preparatory procedure for
installation is enclosed herein.
Shorten the following
sentence while conveying the same meaning:
As per the
agreement contract agreed to and signed at purchase, defective software will
be replaced forthwith upon receipt in our offices of the defective merchandise
Because time has value in business, every document,
including e-mail, must contain only words that add meaning. Readers should receive and understand the message quickly and accurately. Write
concisely to help readers grasp the main ideas by making every word
specific and concrete.
these superfluous words:
"the fact that.
"consideration should be given to the possibility that. . .,"
"in my opinion, it seems that. . .,"
"it should not be forgotten that. . .,"
"in large part, it is our anticipation that. . .,"
"in terms of. . ."
WORDS: There is no doubt but that John was unaware of the fact
that his client had made his arrival.
John didn't know that his client had arrived.
Be straightforward and direct in your e-mails. Always prefer one word when it
will do the work of two or three.
Rewrite these sentences
eliminating superfluous words:
of manufacturer defects must be submitted on or before the deadline
date of March 1 unless it is true that the aforesaid defects
are in appearance in one form or another before said date.
of the problem outlined in detail as per your e-mail of August
4 confirmed our suspicions that the underlying apparent difficulty
lies with the manner in which the software itself was installed
into the computer rather than any and all inherent problems
and other integral difficulties with the software involved in
Use Phrases with Redundancies
Many phrases commonly
used in business writing contain redundancies. You will eliminate many
unnecessary words simply by using the shorter alternative.
Eliminate the redundancies
from each of the following pairs of words. Which one word remains?
within the confines of
during the course of
in order to
includes the following