Too many words—like too many cooks—spoil the sentence broth.
Don't you just hate reading papers that put in a bunch of unnecessary words in order to reach some word limit that is left unknown to you? We are here to let you know that the reason these two sentences are here is because we are trying to show you how annoying wordiness can be.
Yup: the previous two sentences were examples of excessive wordiness. Also, too many words—like Too Many Cooks—sound kind of insane and unhinged.
In everyday life, we have to use certain phrases to soften bad news or to grab people's attention. Unfortunately, because we do it quite often verbally, it tends to slip into our writing, too.
Examples of wordiness:
- advance warning
- past experience
- SAT test
- personally, I think/feel
- the year 2036
- poisonous venom
- surrounded on all sides
- end result
- new innovations
- summarize briefly
Why is Wordiness Bad?
The Reason Wordiness Is Bad Is Because…
Take the lethally wordy combination of the reason and is because, for example. This repetitive duo is a great example of what want to eliminate in your writing: redundancy.
What do we mean? We'll show you.
Let's say your friend is gaga about grammar. You could say "The reason you love grammar is because you love rules." Of course, if you said that, you'd be Captain Redundant of the S.S. Repetitive. If you're telling us the reason, you don't need because.
If you told your friend The reason you love grammar is that you love rules it would be a step in the right direction because it cuts out the because… but it's still too wordy.
So try this one on for size: You love grammar because you love rules. Perfect! You'll notice that because has snuck its way back in there, but that's a-okay because we've nixed the reason.
You love grammar because you love rules is clear, concise, and thoroughly magnificent, just like your grammar-loving pal. She has good taste.