Posted by: Jack Henry | August 15, 2016

Editor’s Corner: Redundancies (Again)

Hello, kind readers. We have talked about today’s subject before, but I recently found some shiny new examples, so here we go again, talking about redundancies.

When we write for business purposes, we want to be as concise and precise as possible. That means that we should be aware of unnecessary words and phrases (redundancies). We need to get rid of the excess and get to the point!

I found the following examples of redundancies on the Quick and Dirty Tips website. The article was a bit long, so I’ve omitted some of the examples and I’ve truncated what’s left to give you only the crux. It’s still a little long, but it’s worth the time.

Earlier and Later

Examples: “later this week,” “earlier this year”

Consider this sentence: “I’ll get back to you later this week.” Well, it has to be later this week; it’s in the future. It’s sufficient, when discussing an upcoming event, to say, “I’ll get back to you this week.”

The same goes for this sentence, dealing with a past event: “She went to Marrakesh earlier this year.”

An exception would be when striking a contrast between two events and the relative chronology is important. Here’s an example: “The senator said in June that he supported the railroad project. Earlier this year, he opposed the project.”

Future Plans

Example: “Let me know what your future plans are.”

If you’re talking about plans that one has now, they are almost invariably plans for the future. You might modify the word “plans” with the words “immediate” or “long-term” to clarify a timeframe, of course.

If, by chance, you had some plans in the past that didn’t work out, you could toss a “previous” in there, as in, “My previous plans were to become an aerialist, but then I got that inner-ear infection…”

Past History

Examples: “past history” and “past experience”

We can find a comparable situation [similar to “future plans”] with “past history” andpast experience.”

When taken in the opposite direction, time-wise, a modifier would be helpful: “We here at Granite Airlines hope your future experience with us will be far more enjoyable. And we do hope that nasty stain comes out of your suit.” Similarly, one need not prepare ahead of time. To prepare is sufficient.

Please RSVP

Example: “Please R.S.V.P.”

R.S.V.P. stands, of course, for répondez s’il vous plaît and that means “respond, please.” So, “please R.S.V.P.” would mean “please respond, please.” If you’re begging, that’s fine; but really, it’s better to preserve your dignity.

Whether or Not

Example: “I can’t decide whether or not to bring my umbrella.”

Lose the “or not” in that instance, and you’re fine. Just don’t lose your umbrella.

The Reason Is Because

Example: “The reason you love grammar is because you love rules.”

The words “reason” and “because” both represent the same idea. The sentence would be just as clear if you leave either of them out. It could read, “The reason you love grammar is that you love rules,” or “You love grammar because you love rules.”

You Can Say That Again

Let’s close with one a familiar term: “reiterate.” “Let me reiterate,” one might say, usually for emphasis. According to many dictionaries, to iterate is to say or do something again or repeatedly. So, “reiterate” would mean to re-repeat your words or actions.

“Reiterate,” of course, has become the more common term. The savvy writer, though, knows that “iterate” works just as well and that knowledge can be useful.

Donna Bradley Burcher | Senior Technical Editor | Symitar®

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