27 expendable phrases to slash from your copy

Readers are pressed for time, so stop muddling your point. Cut these speed bumps from your copy today—and every day.

Wordiness is everywhere—in emails, ad copy, press releases, and websites.

Even as more people skim and scan than actually read our content, we have clients and bosses who think the more words the better. But readers are busy. Unnecessary words slow them down. Every word should matter.

Some words and phrases do no work; they’re slackers. Deleting them doesn’t hurt your meaning; it often improves the readability of your content.

Consider this sentence:

I am bewildered by your inconsistent use of the serial comma.

Tacking on any of the expendable phrases below would add nothing. So, if you catch yourself including them in your copy, hit the delete key:

1. All things considered
2. As a matter of fact
3. As already stated
4. As far as I’m concerned
5. At the present time
6. By means of
7. Due to the fact that
8. For all intents and purposes
9. For the most part
10. For the purpose of
11. In a manner of speaking
12. In a very real sense
13. In the final analysis
14. In the event that
15. In other words
16. It goes without saying
17. It is important to note
18. It is interesting to note
19. It may be said that
20. It stands to reason that
21. It was found that
22. It was demonstrated that
23. Needless to say
24. Take steps to
25. The fact that
26. The field of
27. To be sure

PR Daily readers, care to add to this list?

Laura Hale Brockway is an Austin-based writer and editor. She writes about writing and editing at her blog, Impertinent Remarks.


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