If you’re trying to bulk up the word count of a piece, it’s pretty obvious. It slows down the pace and makes a normally acceptable article suddenly TL;DR. The best articles tend to be concise. Eliminate these nonsense, redundant, and useless phrases in your writing to make it clearer and stronger.
If I put the word “fact” in there, it sounds factual, you see …
- Due to the fact that: This phrase can be replaced with “because.”
- As a matter of fact: This adds nothing to your sentence.
- The most important thing/fact is: Either replace it with “importantly” or remove it.
- Considering the fact that: Replace with “considering”
- Regardless of the fact that: Replace with “although”
- The reason why is because: “The reason is” or “because” is sufficient.
- In spite of the fact that: Try replacing this with “although.”
Wait … when, exactly?
- In this day and age: How about “today” or “now”?
- Since the beginning of time: Are you sure? Time began approximately 14.5 billion years ago, according to physicists.
- Throughout history: Are you sure? And is that written history? Human history? All history?
- From the dawn of mankind: Are you sure? Anthropologists and archaeologists are still debating when that was.
- A situation in which: Replace with “when”
- At the end of the day: If you’re using this, it better be describing a point in time (like dusk).
- In the event that: Use “if” instead.
- At the same time as: Replace with “as” or “while”
- At the present time: Choose “at present” or “at this time.”
- During the course of: “During” is enough
Wait … who’s talking?
- Considered by some to be: Who considers it? If you really can’t include the actual source, you could only include “considered.”
- The decision was made to: Who decided this decision?
- Some people/sources say: Which sources? Be specific, or I won’t believe you.
Writers sometimes repeat themselves redundantly.
- First and foremost: First or foremost can be used, not both.
- Add an additional: Plus some more things
- Ask a question: Questions are usually asked, one would assume.
- Basic fundamentals: Fundamentals are, by their nature, basic.
- Each and every: Use one or the other.
- Different kinds: If there is more than one kind, they’re different.
- And also/Additionally also: Yes, we get that you’re saying more things. Be careful not to use “additionally,” “also,” and “in addition” in one sentence.
- And etc.: “Etc.” is short for “et cetera,” and the “et” already means “and.”
Take these out, too.
- For all intents and purposes: You’re just delaying the beginning of the sentence with this one.
- In terms of: Try taking the phrase out. Does it really add anything to your sentence?
- As to whether: Replace with “whether”
- All things being equal: Unless you’re referring to mathematics, this is probably void of any meaning.
- Be that as it may: If you’re not writing dialogue for a character played by actress Maggie Smith, you shouldn’t use this.
- For the most part: As opposed to the least part?
- It is important that: Let the reader decide what’s important.
- The first thing is that: We likely know this because it’s the first thing you’ve mentioned.
Remove these phrases and you’ll have a better article. What are your pet peeves? Do you know of any phrases that don’t mean anything substantial and really get on your nerves?