While edit­ing client doc­u­ments, I often encounter super­flu­ous phras­ing. I quick­ly edit it to its main mes­sage, using as few words as pos­si­ble to make the mes­sage as strong as pos­si­ble.

When I think of it, I tweet exam­ples to my Twit­ter accounts under the hash­tag #shrink­tip, a nod to an arti­cle I wrote with tech­niques for reduc­ing word­count.

Here is a col­lec­tion of 18 shrink­tips I’ve shared over the past few months.

On the left are the orig­i­nal phras­es, as writ­ten by the client; on the right are my cor­rec­tions. Keep in mind that not every­thing on the left is incor­rect per se, but, in my opin­ion, the rewrit­ten form is bet­ter for con­vey­ing the intend­ed mes­sage.

Orig­i­nal Shrunk­en
In regards to Regard­ing
A num­ber of Sev­er­al
If you are able If you can
The way in which How
You are being pro­vid­ed with an oppor­tu­ni­ty to You can
In rela­tion to Related/relating to
Ways in which you Ways you
For the pur­pos­es of To
As a result of Because of
Are unable to Can­not
Is required to Must
A lot of Many
I was able to see I saw
In order to To
It is impor­tant that you You must
Real­ly good Excel­lent
It is rec­om­mend­ed We rec­om­mend
Uti­lize Use


About Kim Siever

I am a copy­writer and copy­ed­i­tor. I blog on writ­ing and social media tips most­ly, but I some­times throw in my thoughts about run­ning a small busi­ness. Fol­low me on Twit­ter at @hotpepper.

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