Create concise compositions

This article is published in the Tuesday  issues of Deccan Chronicle .

Micmanz Lanugage Improvement series

Wordiness is a common problem. The best idea is to write simple sentences that form cohesive and crisp reading material. So look at your work and see if you have been rambling on and try and cut out the excess words.


Example: Seema saw the thief leap across the boundary wall but she was so scared that she decided to say absolutely nothing at all to anyone.

The concise way to write this would be to say: Seema saw the thief leap across the boundary but she decided to say nothing to anyone because she was scared.

Let’s look at another example: I am afraid that it is with deep regret that on this point I can say very little.
Here, the syntax is wrong as well. You should say: I can say little on this point. This is short and concise.


Another mistake most of us make is to use expressions that are often repetitive words or phrases — in short, redundant.

Example: Seema told me that she would not reply back to her. In this sentence, the “back” is redundant.
Called pleonasms, some common redundant expressions/words/phrases are: advance planning/warning/reservations (no need of “advance”); meet together (“together” is unnecessary); armed gunman (no need for “armed”); the autobiography of my life (“of my life” can be removed); commute back and forth (“back and forth” is not required); green in colour (“in colour” can be done away with); basic fundamentals (no need for “basic”); consensus of opinion (do away with “of opinion”); and join together (drop “together”).

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