On Verbosity: How Much Word is Much Word?

Have you ever found yourself using many words when few could’ve done? I mean using 10 (ten) words when 5 (five) could do? If your answer is “Yes” then you’re guilty or VERBOSITY aka wordiness – I’ve been a victim too!

 

Verbosity means using many words to express the simplest of ideas.

 

Brevity Wins it All

In writing, the maxim, “Minimum words, maximum expression” best describes it.

 

And Mark Twain had this to say about wordiness : I NEVER WRITE ” METROPOLIS” FOR SEVEN CENTS WHEN I CAN GET THE SAME PRICE FOR “CITY.

 

On today’s #eveninggrammarhangout#, I will give some commonly used verbose expression. Would you come along with me?

1. Advance notice: This is wrong. A notice is always in advance. Next time, just say “notice”.


2. A dead body was found: The right way to put this is, ” a body was found” as the sentence can still retain its meaning without “dead” added to it. No need to occupy space for nothing.

 

3. Successful completion: When you achieve something as expected, there is little need using “completion” as an appendage to “successful.” If you’ve completed a thing, then you’re successful. Why carry extra load?

 

4. The month of August: Why not just write or say “August” and you’d have weeded out 3 words?

 

5. Existing rule: A rule must have been in existence. Simply say “rule” and save the stress.

 

6. At this point in time: Really? I will “kukuma” use “now” and save

4 (four) extra words.

 

7. Draw to a close: Just say “close”, ” ended “. No need for long journey “biko.”

 

8. Throughout the length and width of Lagos: My dear, you’re better off with “throughout Lagos”.

 

9. Due to the fact that…: Simply say “due to”, “because of”.

 

10. Cost the sum of …Instead say, ” cost…”, “the sum of…”

 

Therefore, be on the lookout for these redundant words in your speech and writing.

 

Don’t use “due to” when “because” would do.

 

Na “change” era we dey ooo so no wastage. Trim your expenses (words) to fit in to your budget (sentence)!

Emmanuel Egobiambu

A creative writer, editor and public affairs analyst skilled in research.

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