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 mul­ti-word phras­es when a sin­gle word would do. Some­times what we think we need sev­er­al words for can actu­al­ly be described in a sin­gle word.

Exam­ples:

  1. Find out vs. Dis­cov­er
  2. Come up with vs. Pro­vide
  3. Put up with vs. Endure
  4. Look in on vs. Vis­it

So, if you’re hav­ing a prob­lem with wordi­ness, check whether you’re using more words to say some­thing that could be said in just one.

About Kim Siever

I am a copy­writer and copy­ed­i­tor. I blog on writ­ing tips most­ly, but I some­times throw in my thoughts about run­ning a small busi­ness.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter at @hotpepper.

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