Verbosity: Superfluity of words; wordiness
In this blog post, we will show three forms or wordiness:
- Filler words and phrases
- Excess verbiage
1. Some people like to use words to fill space, hold the floor as they are thinking, or make those they are talking to feel smaller than a flea.
- The overuse of uh, so, well , and you know can be used to fill space while the speaker thinks of what to say next.
- Some people like to add phrases to the end of what they say to make you feel stupid: “Understand?” “Do you know what I mean ?” “Did you get that?” “Right?” and similar things.
2. Excess verbiage can be wordy phrases, larger-than-necessary words, and more words than necessary.
- Wordy phrases can start sentences: “What is did is . . . “ or “What this means is . . .” or “The reason is because [yuck!!!]. . .” and even worse, using a double is: “What I did is is . . .” Then there is “The fact that . . .” and “That being said . . .”
- Using fancy words doesn’t usually make you sound smart: conversate instead of converse or talk; using words like enormity and orientate. You don’t need to use a twenty-five cent word when you can use a nickel word.
- “We will elect a president at the next meeting.” Or you could say, “The election of the president will be held at the next meeting.” The first one is far more direct and has more punch. Using a noun (election) instead of the verb is called nominalization.
- If you have ever read your mortgage papers or any other contract, you have seen verbosity in the form of legalese.
3. Redundancy is usually done by mistake or because the writer or speaker doesn’t realize he or she is doing it. Here are some common redundancies:
- 7 p.m. in the evening (of course p.m. is in the evening!)
- At this point in time is just a wordy way to say now.
- Completely unanimous is the only type of unanimous there is.
- The result is generally at the end, so end result is redundant.
- In close proximity to is just a fancy way to say near.
- For the purpose of is a puffed up way of saying to.
- Each and every? Just each or every alone will do nicely.
- Postpone until later? Can we postpone until any other time?
- Past history really just means history, since there is no real future history.
- Protest against? Can you protest for something?
- We made a decision is a nominalization for we decided.
- Small in size? Small should do it.
Due to the fact that this blog post is about redundancy and other excess verbiage, I would like to repeat again, that my personal opinion is that now you know the basic essentials of this difficult dilemma. It should be noted that the final outcome of this blog post is hopefully spelled out in detail to you, my invited guests. Do you understand?