Quick Tip:
Are Unnecessary Words Weakening Your Copy?

You can make your copy stronger and more conversational simply by eliminating unnecessary words. Your rule of thumb should be: “If eliminating the word doesn’t change the meaning … take it out.”

  1. THAT

    Instead of “He said THAT policosanol is …”, say “He said policosanol is …”

  2. OF

    Instead of “The report OF mine is on your desk,” use the possessive: “My report is on your desk.”

  3. UP

    Instead of “Oil rigs had to be closed UP after the hurricane,” avoid the awkwardness of two prepositions in a row with “Oil rigs had to be closed after the hurricane.”

  4. DOWN

    Instead of “The stock market will drop DOWN because …”, say “The stock market will drop because …”


    Instead of “The stockholders gathered together to vote,” say “The stockholders gathered to vote” (somewhat better) or “The stockholders met to vote” (even better) or “The stockholders voted” (best).

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Published: May 29, 2006

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