Posted by: episystechpubs | March 22, 2013

Editor’s Corner: A few problem words and phrases

The following is a partial list of what the author calls “problem words and phrases.” There are several on here that I’d classify as shredder-worthy, and at the top of that list would be “due to the fact that.” Here are ten of the uglier ones, from

Tried-and-true words and phrases are convenient, but they are also truly trying—as with clichés, when a writer relies too heavily on stock usage, the resulting prose is tired and uninspired. Watch out for the following deadly usages.

· And also: And and also are redundant; use one or the other.

· As to whether: As to is extraneous; use whether only.

· At this point in time: Omit this meaningless filler.

· Basically, essentially, totally: Basically, these words are essentially nonessential, and you can totally dispense with them.

· Could care less: No, you couldn’t. You want to convey that it’s not possible for you to care
less, so you couldn’t care less. [KC – Richard S., this one’s for you!]

· Due to the fact that: Replace this phrase with because.

· Equally as: As is superfluous; write equally only.

· In the process of: This extraneous phrasing is acceptable in extemporaneous speaking but unnecessarily verbose in prepared oration and in writing.

· Lots/lots of: In formal writing, employ many or much in place of one of these colloquialisms.

· On account of: Replace this awkward phrase with because.

Kara Church

Senior Technical Editor

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