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Monday, July 20, 2009

Go Ahead and Eliminate Wordiness

As I was watching CNN this morning the meteorlogist used a phrase that I felt compelled to add to my wordiness list (see the prior post on this blog. It's "go ahead and" or "just go ahead and." So, if the sentence is something like "I wanted to go ahead an do it," the "go ahead" part can usually be eliminated. In fact it usually should be eliminated. It probably wouldn't hurt to go ahead and eliminate this phrase from our speech, too. (-:
Carolyn Howard-Johnson edits, consults and speaks on issues of publishing. Find her The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success at Learn more about her other authors' aids at, where writers will find lists and other helps on the Resources for Writers page. She blogs on all things publishing (not just editing!) at her Sharing with Writers blog.


Crystal Clear Proofing said...

Here's a phrase I have never stopped to think about. Verbosity is an all-too-common practice by many, and the use of unnecessary words can cause a listener or reader to not only lose interest, but forget what the topic was to begin with!

I think I'll just go ahead and eliminate that phrase from my vocabulary! :>

Margaret Fieland said...

You know, before you started discussing wordiness in query letters, I never thought about excess verbiage in this particular context.

I think I'll just go ahead and add it to my list of things to consider.

I think I could eliminate I think, too.

Donna M. McDine said...

Terrific post. I agree, wordiness definitely makes me lose interest almost immediately. Thanks for the tips.

Children’s Author
Write What Inspires You Blog
Donna M. McDine’s Website

MaAnna Stephenson said...

Carving, which is a subtractive art, taught me how to be an efficient writer. I remove everything that is not the art.

That skill certainly came in handy while writing the Just the FAQs series, which helps authors with the techie aspects of online marketing.

Derailed Poet said...

I have been far too wordy. Your tips help enormously. I look forward to gleaning more from you.

Great Editing Is Great Marketing

Your First Marketing Offense: Write and Edit Great Query Letters