Wordiness, Wordiness, Wordiness List

“They have been at a great feast of languages and stolen the scraps."

—Shakespeare (Love’s Labour’s Lost, act 5, sc. 1, ll. 36-7)

The world has only so much space. When you write, your job is to use that space carefully. I can offer some quick tips: find the right word and use it; when in doubt, cut it out; edit your work like it was written by someone you don’t like. But in the end, the general principle is simple: if you’ve heard a phrase more than a couple of times, and it isn’t key wording, essential in carrying meaning, or a definitive phrase, try to get rid of it.

While you work on that one, you can get a good start by avoiding "there is/are/was/were," “it is/was," “that is/are/were," and “which is/are." You can also try to dump what I call “wazzle" (waffling and fuzzy) words, like “actually," “aspects," “basically," "definitely," “quite," “really," “situation," “truly," "ultimately," and “very. " Actually, these are basically fruity habits, and they can truly go in most situations. "Could," "should," and "would" are also famous wazzlers (in case you missed it, these strike-outs illustrate words that can be deleted from the sentence without reducing the meaning: “these fruity habits can go”).

Let me try an analogy. Think of your writing in the same way you think about all the stuff you own. Now think of having a yard sale. What you put into your yard sale is the useless junk that has been hanging around for a long time. At first you feel a little remorse in seeing it all go, but then, with your new, uncluttered world, you feel light, clean, and fresh, just like they say in the soap commercials. Apply this to your writing. Keep the good stuff, and get rid of the useless clutter that’s been cluttering your writing.

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aforementioned = DELETE

a considerable amount of = DELETE OR BE SPECIFIC

a lot of = many, much

a majority of = most, much of, many

added bonus = bonus

advance warning = warning

advance planning = planning

after all is said and done = DELETE

all across = across

all of a sudden = suddenly

all of these = these

almost never = seldom

along the lines of = like

are such that = DELETE

are/was/were able to = can OR DELETE

as a matter of fact = in fact OR DELETE

as a means to = to

as a whole = DELETE

as a way to = to

as being a = as OR DELETE

as it truly is = DELETE

as of the moment = DELETE

as the case may be = DELETE

at the conclusion of = after

at all times = always OR DELETE

at first glance = DELETE

at the present time = currently, now

at the same time that = while

at this point in time = now OR DELETE

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based in large part on = based on

basic necessity = necessity

basic fundamentals = basics OR fundamentals

because of the fact of = because of

being = DELETE

being that = because

both of these/them/the = both

brings to mind = recalls/suggests

but yet = but OR yet

by and large = DELETE

by definition = DELETE

by leaps and bounds = DELETE

by means of = by

by the use of = using

by virtue of [the fact that] = by

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came to a realization = realized/recognized

came to an abrupt end = end[ed] abruptly

can be seen as = is OR DELETE

clearly articulate = articulate

close scrutiny = scrutiny

common similarities = similarities

compare and contrast = compare

complete stranger = stranger

completely eliminate = eliminate

concerning the matter of = about/regarding

connect[ed] together = connect[ed]

continue into the future = continue

core essence = DELETE

correctional facility = jail

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despite the fact that = although

did not succeed = failed

due to the effects = because

due to the fact that = because

during the course of = during

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each and every one = each, every

each individual = DELETE OR everyone

each of = each

early on in the = early in the

economically deprived = poor

enter into = enter OR DELETE

erode away = erode

every single one = each one, all, each


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fair amount = DELETE [or be specific]

final demise/destination/outcome = DELETE final

first priority = priority

first and foremost = first

for all intents and purposes = DELETE

for that which is = for the

for the manner in which = the way

for the purpose of = to, for

foreseeable future = [when exactly?]

free gift = gift

future plans/prospects = plans OR prospects

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gain entry into = enter

general consensus = consensus

general public = public

give an indication of = indicate

grave crisis = crisis

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hand-in-hand = together

has/had/have a tendency to = often OR DELETE

has/had/have been found to be = is/was/are

has/had/have the ability to/capacity for = can/could

has/had/have the effect of = DELETE

has/had/have the opportunity to = can/could

hear the sound of = hear the

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I myself = I

[in a] clear and concise way = [concisely] concise

in a situation in which = in

in a very real sense = DELETE

in actuality = DELETE

in all likelihood/probability = likely/probably

in close proximity = near

in connection with = about

in essence = DELETE

in excess of = more than

in light of the fact that = because

in keeping with = AVOID

in itself = DELETE

in nature = DELETE

in order to = to

in reality = DELETE

in reference to = about/regarding

in the neighborhood of = about

in the vicinity of = near

in spite of = despite

in spite of the fact that = although

in such a way = in a way

in terms of = DELETE

in the area of = in

in the course of = during, while

in the event that = if

in the final analysis = finally OR DELETE

in the light of = considering OR DELETE

in the majority of instances = usually

in the midst of = during, amid

in the nature of = DELETE

in the near future = soon OR DELETE

in the not too distant future = soon OR DELETE

in their own right = DELETE

in this day and age = currently, now, today

in today's society = today

in view of the fact that = because

in which = DELETE

inner feelings = feelings

interestingly enough = DELETE

intertwine[d] together = intertwine[d]

irregardless = DELETE

is able to = can OR DELETE

is an important factor in = DELETE OR in

is aware of the fact that = knows

is described as being = is OR is described as

is found to be = is

is going to = will

is helpful in understanding = clarifies

is in conflict with = conflicts with/is against

is in contrast to = contrasts with

is of significant importance = is significant OR is important

is scared of = fears

is seen as = is

is something that is = is

is well aware that = understands

is when = is OR DELETE

is where = DELETE

is/was more or less = is/was

it appears/seems as though = it appears OR DELETE

it can be seen that = DELETE

it could happen that = could/may/might

it goes to show that = DELETE

it is clear/evident/apparent that = DELETE

it is crucial/important that = must/should OR DELETE

it is interesting/important to note that = DELETE

it is necessary that = must/should

it is possible that = DELETE

itself = DELETE

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join/gather together = join/gather



kind of = DELETE

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last but not least = finally

later on = later

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mainly focuses on = focuses on

make a decision = decide

make an assumption = assume

make contact with = contact

make reference to = refer to

manner in which = way

mental attitude = attitude

mix together = mix

more or less = DELETE [OR be specific]

more preferable = preferable

mutual agreement = agreement

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natural instinct = instinct

necessary prerequisite = prerequisite

new record = record [as in SET A NEW RECORD]

not the least of them being = AVOID

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of great importance = DELETE OR is important

off of = off OR from

on a daily basis = daily

on account of the fact that = because

on the basis of = because, based on

on the grounds that = because

on the occasion of = on

on the situation of = about

on the subject of = about OR DELETE

on the surface level = on the surface

on the whole = DELETE

on top of all this = moreover OR DELETE

one of the more = DELETE

one of the most interesting = DELETE

only serves to = DELETE

over and over again = repeatedly

overall goal = goal

overall structure = structure

owing to the fact that = because

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particular type of = DELETE

past experience = experience

past history = history

past memories = memories

period of time = period, time

plan ahead = plan

play[s] an important role = DELETE [be specific]

previous/prior to = before

providing that = provided

put to use = use

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quite clearly = DELETE

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readily apparent = apparent

real truth/life = truth/life

reconsider again = reconsider

regardless of the fact that = although

repeat[ed] over and over again = repeat[ed]

respective/respectively = DELETE

right up to the = up to the OR to the


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says exactly the same thing = repeats

scrutinize carefully = scrutinize

seems to infer = infers

serve the purpose of = DELETE

serves to explain/show = explain/show

shout loudly = shout

some kind of = DELETE

somewhere in the neighborhood of = about

sort of = DELETE

state of affairs = DELETE [vague]

still has yet = has yet

study in depth = study

subsequent to = after

symbolically represents = represents OR symbolizes


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take action = act

take into account = consider

take the time = DELETE

terrible/horrible tragedy = tragedy

that/this being said = DELETE

that exists = DELETE

that exists between/with/among = between/with/among

that is/are = DELETE when possible

that is to say = DELETE

the colour green = green

the complete opposite of = the opposite of

the end OR final result = the result

the human race = humans OR humanity OR people

the fact that = that OR DELETE

the fact remains = DELETE

the final conclusion = the conclusion

the majority of = most/many

the month of September = September

The nature of the [NOUN] = The [NOUN]

the overall plan = the plan

the possibility exists for = may/might/could

the reason is because = the reason/because

the reason why = the reason, why, because

the type OR use of = DELETE

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united as one = united

until such time as = until

ultimate fate = fate

ultimate objective OR goal = objective OR goal

utmost perfection = perfection

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valuable asset = asset

various different = various

very unique = unique

violent explosion = explosion


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we are of the opinion that = we believe

we as a society = we OR society

well aware of = aware

what is important is = DELETE

when all is said and done = DELETE

whether or not = whether/if OR DELETE

which have been found to be = are OR DELETE

which is = DELETE

[when possible]

will come in the future = will come

will have an effect on = will effect

who are/was/were = DELETE

why it functions the way it does = how it functions

with regard to = about/regarding

with the exception of = except for

witnessed first hand = witnessed

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