Tag Archives: redundancies

The Redundant ‘Reason Why’

yelling woman (who had enough of bad grammar already)“Reason why” is redundant. Do you hear me? It’s redundant!

On my Ruthless Editor website, I name Three C’s of effective writing: Clear, Concise, and grammatically Correct.

Concise writing is comprehensive but to the point, using the fewest words to achieve understanding. It is free of repetition and needless detail.

That’s why the reason why seems redundant to me. (Reminder: As it relates to words, redundant means something that can be omitted without loss of meaning or function.)

But not everyone thinks so. Consider these story headings I found online: Continue

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Author Messes With Grammar To Define Mood, Scene, Character

Man reading a book thinking about grammar maybeAuthors sometimes take license with grammar to create a mood, a scene or a character. I usually don’t object to storytelling that deviates from standard usage, as long as it serves a purpose. Songwriters do it all the time!

When I was invited to join a book club a few months ago, I welcomed the opportunity to expand my horizons by reading things I might not otherwise have chosen to explore. I just finished The Dog Stars, a tale about a handful of individuals who have survived a flu pandemic that appears to have wiped out much of civilization. One review described it as “a post-apocalyptic adventure.”

Peter Heller, an experienced writer who has a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Iowa Writers Workshop in fiction and poetry, uses a writing style that suits the tale he tells. It mimics the sometimes random thoughts that float through all of our heads, ramblings that don’t require grammatically complete sentences or punctuation. Here’s an example: Continue

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Respect Your Readers: Reduce Redundancies

Caution bad habit aheadDifferent has been on this ruthless editor’s grammar radar for some time. Its use might be simply a bad habit, but I’ve heard it enough lately to prompt me to write a post about how redundant it can be.

What is a redundant word? It’s one that doesn’t add meaning to what is being said or written. Here are select redundancies from a previous post:

And here’s why using different is a bad habit I wish people could break. Continue

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10 Headlines That Teach Grammar Lessons on Grammar Day

Grammar Lessons on Grammar DayHappy Grammar Day! It’s time to acknowledge the importance of picking just the right words and just the right punctuation to clearly communicate your message. If you think “proper” grammar, with all of its rules and guidelines, is a thing of the past, please check out my Ruthless Editor Grammar Day column: What Is Grammar, and Why Does It Matter?

Here are some headlines with their own grammar lessons:

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End-of-Year Potpourri

Potpourri ingredients - a bit of this and that smell nice, but bad grammar stinksPotpourri (pronounced poe-pur-REE) is a mixture, most commonly of dried flower petals and spices, valued for its fragrance. However, it also can be a musical medley, a collection of miscellaneous literary extracts — or any mixture, especially of unrelated objects, subjects, etc.

This post is a mixture of words, although perhaps not quite “literary extracts.” It is a collection of things I have heard or read since my last post, and it exemplifies why I consider myself a ruthless editor, why I blog, and why I write a monthly column about grammar. Continue

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Don’t Let Headline Errors Hurt Your Credibility

Headline graphic -Ruthless editor talks about Headline errorsI’ve stated more than once that if a writer is going to make a mistake, a headline is the worst place for that to happen. We skim headlines to decide which stories to further explore, so errors there are seen by more readers than errors within a story.

Here’s a batch of recent headlines that, if I were editing them, would not have appeared in their present form: Continue

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How NOT to Blog

Sll writing including blogs needs editing. Take the time to be sure your written words reflect well on you.Wow, have I found an interesting blog! Because I have a book in the works, I’ve been reviewing information about marketing and self-promotion. Someone who professes to know something about how to market books provides advice via his blog that is so convoluted and poorly written, it destroys the author’s credibility — and thus the information he provides. Here are some copied-and-pasted excerpts, followed by my comments. Continue

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Avoid Redundancies That Bloat Writing and Speaking

Whether we’re online, listening to the radio, reading, watching television, or simply having a conversation with someone, we’re constantly processing an endless onslaught of words. Would it be too much to ask that the messages we’re receiving be concise?

As a communication professional, I work hard at watching for redundancies in my own writing and speaking as well as in the words I edit — ruthlessly — for others. Here are some recent examples of redundancies from television, print media and online sources that jarred my brain. Definitions are from merriam-webster.com. Continue

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