Eliminate These Phrases In Your Writing
Improve your writing in 2 minutes
Ahoy and happy Tuesday!
“Your success in life is determined by how well you speak, how well you write, and your ideas. In that order,” said the late Patrick Winston, one of my favorite professors when I studied at MIT.
He used to call me “Purple” because I had purple hair at the time.
Anyways. I loved how Professor Winston emphasized writing well, even though he taught artificial intelligence.
Most of us, after all, get little guidance on our writing.
In the next 60 seconds you’ll improve your writing by learning removal:
Phrases To Eliminate In Your Writing
Ever seen writing like this?
“I’m writing this email to you to comment on the recent bank run from Silicon Valley Bank. The fact of the matter is that regulators interfered, because people were withdrawing money at a fast rate. The bank lacked the ability to control it. It should be pointed out that investors advised entrepreneurs to withdraw money, due to the fact that many others were already doing it.”
ZzzzzZzzzz. Hope I didn’t put you to sleep.
Let’s see what to cut:
⛔︎ “I’m writing this email to explain” —> Get straight to the point instead. The recipient knows you're writing the email.
⛔︎ “The fact of the matter is that” —> Cut it. Always. It needs no replacement.
⛔︎ “It should be pointed out” —> If it should be said, just say it. The same goes for “It is interesting to note.”
⛔︎ “Lack the ability to” → Eliminate, and replace with “cannot.” Why use four words when you can use one word?
⛔︎ “Due to the fact that” → Cut, and use “because” or “due to. ”
And try again:
“A comment on the recent bank run from Silicon Valley Bank: Regulators interfered, because people were withdrawing money at a fast rate. The bank couldn’t control it. Investors advised entrepreneurs to withdraw money, because many others were already doing it.”
While not beautiful prose, it’s punchier. For the purpose of this message, it illustrates the point. As a matter of fact , cutting words is one of the quickest ways to improve when it comes to your writing 😉
A writing reminder from the classic book “On Writing Well” by William Zinsser: “Never say anything in writing that you wouldn’t comfortably say in conversation. If you’re not a person who says “indeed” or “moreover,” or who calls someone an individual (“he’s a fine individual”), please don’t write it.”