People love to talk.
And one area where that’s obvious is in writing. I’ve been writing and editing for nearly 30 years, and one common habit I’ve seen during that time has been wordiness. We have a tendency to use more words than necessary to get our point across.
One habit that contributes to wordiness is using excess prepositions.
Consider these 4 examples:
- The location of the business is next to the street with a lot of traffic vs. The business is next to the busy street.
- The shirt of the boy was worn with pride. vs. The boy pridefully wore his shirt.
- A number of oranges vs. Several oranges
- He handed the cheque to me. vs. He handed me the cheque.
Notice how the prepositions “of”, “with”, and “to” in these sentences made them longer than they needed to be? The first example had twice as many words as it needed.
Now, don’t get me wrong: prepositions aren’t a bad thing, and I’m not saying to never use them. However, when you do use them, make sure they serve the right purpose.
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