In this last post in a series about the impact word choice has on how effectively your message is received, we look at wordiness including verbosity, redundancy, and superfluity.
Verbosity is using big pompous words. Redundancy is using words that say the same as another word. While superfluity is a bit like gobbledygook, using unnecessary extra words that have little or no purpose.
Many business writers use wordiness wrongly believing that more is better, and that it makes them sound far more intelligent. Wrong! Here’s a list of words and phrases that are verbose, redundant and superfluous with some more plain alternatives:
- ‘Facilitate’ instead of ‘ease’
- ‘Utilise’ instead of ‘use’
- ‘Initial’ instead of ‘first’
- ‘Facilitate’ instead of ‘help’
- ‘Enumerate’ instead of ‘count’
- ‘Deliverables’ instead of ‘results’
Redundant words or tautologies
- ‘Each of you individually’ instead of ‘each of you’
- ‘Future prospects’ instead of ‘prospects’
- ‘FBT tax’ instead of ‘FBT’
- ‘Internationally around the world instead of ‘internationally’
Superfluous words (italicised)
- Accounted for the fact that
- In view of the fact that
- Through the use of
- Until such time as
If you would like to read more about these and other writing tips, try a few good reference corporate writing and plain language books that we have in our professional library: The Professional Writing Guide: Writing Well and Knowing Why, Modern Manglish, or Writing at Work.
Alternatively, contact us for more information.