One of the easiest ways to reduce your proofreading load is to tighten your copy.
As the classic book The Elements of Style states: “Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences… .”
And this requires that “every word tell.”
Fortunately, one easy way to “make every word tell” is to substitute smaller words for larger words and phrases. For example:
|Despite the fact that||Even|
|Enables you to||Lets you|
|In reference to||About|
|In the event that||If|
|Few in number||Few|
|A majority of||Most|
|At the present time||Now|
|Due to the fact that||Because|
Got the picture? If a word doesn’t help, it hinders. So cut it out.
For more suggested replacements, visit Kim Blank’s Wordiness, Wordiness, Wordiness List.
Kim advises that you “edit your work like it was written by someone you don’t like.”
Susan Monroe says
A terrific post, Kay. I visited Kim’s list and particularly like the mention of “wazzle” words.