Copywriters write short and sweet. We say it like it is. We know you don’t have time to spend reading words that don’t need to be there.
This is a rant about one of my pet hates – pleonasms. Sounds like a disease and it could be, because pleonasms have long been a pandemic in writing. Pleonasms are extra, unnecessary words.
Let’s explore some common blighters.
- “He had to milk the cow in order to get the milk”.
How about, “He had to milk the cow to get the milk.”
- “It was a very large banana.”
Or perhaps it was just a large banana. Or an enormous banana. Very … should it even be a word?
- “It was absolutely necessary to remove the cancer before it spread.”
If we ditch absolutely, it’s still necessary to remove the cancer – that’s an absolute.
- “He was both attracted and repelled by her.”
Remove ‘both’ and she remains attractive and repellant at the same time. Maybe she’s just a train wreck?
Surely the most used word in the English language deserves a rest whenever possible. Check out my first para – I could have written, “We know you don’t have the time to spend reading words that don’t need to be there.” But I didn’t.
Review your writing and delete extra words that don’t add value, or replace multiple words with a single word that communicates the right meaning. Help end the pleonasm pandemic.