Thursday, July 3, 2008

Repetitive Redundancies


Redundancy: needless repetition; being superfluous and unneeded
Writers, here's a prime area for self-editing! Chop out those superfluous words clogging up your prose and annoying readers.

1. swallowed visibly/shook visibly - Uh huh, I always go invisible when I do these things.

2. shrugged his shoulders - What else would you have shrugged?

3. "the reason is because" - Leave off the "because", or better yet delete the whole phrase and just state the reason.

4. PIN number - What do you think the N in PIN stands for?

5. thought to herself - You can think to your pet fish or the dust bunnies, maybe?

6. blinked/squinted her eyes - see #2

7. nodded his head - see #2

8. "the fact is that" - Just say the fact, don't say that you are going to say it

9. pursed her lips together - You can't purse 'em apart, you know.

10. she waved her hand at them - Try just "She waved at them", unless she is waving something else.

11. bald-headed man - I think we'll all assume a bald man is lacking hair on his head.

12. breathing in and out - Can you breathe up and down? Forward and backward? It's enough to just breathe.

13. "he fucked her with his penis" when the description already makes it clear they are having penetrative sex - If he's using his fingers or a sex toy, say so. Otherwise, we know what part he's using.


Terry Odell said...

#4 is one of my pet peeves. And what about the ATM Machine?

Anny Cook said...

I kinda like #13.

Mona Risk said...

Hilarious. Thanks for a good laugh.

Ruth (Book Focus) said...

I feel silly that the PIN thing actually never occurred to me. I do hate "ATM machine", though.

Marian Perera said...

I've seen "HIV virus" as well.

K. Z. Snow said...

The phrase I thought to myself has bugged me forever! Thanks for bringing it up.

Bet George Carlin would've had something to contribute to this post.

Vivienne Westlake said...

I have been guilty of number 12.

I think it's easy to forget the rules about body parts (2, 6, 7). I definitely agree with blinked and squinted. No need to elaborate.