Thursday, February 16, 2012


Wow! What a busy week! I’ve been working on a book proposal and preparing for a writer’s conference next weekend. It’s already Thursday and time for another writers’ corner post.

We’ve discussed revising our manuscripts. One way to tighten a manuscript is to rid it of overused or redundant words.

For overused words, simply do a “search” for the particular word on your computer (the F5 function key in MS Word). Either replace the word with a synonym or delete it. Many times, the word isn’t needed when you look at the context of the sentence. When I first started writing, I discovered my Southernisms creeping into my writing. Searching for particular words like “just” helped me to realize “just” how much I used them.

Have you ever noticed how many times in writing and talking that redundant words are used? We all do it.

“It’s déjà vu all over again.” ~ Yogi Berra

Here are a few more common phrases you might read or hear:

They have a new baby. Is there any other kind?

She folded her two hands. Does she have more than two?

The police questioned him because he lived in close proximity to the crime.

The little boy wanted a frozen ice cream treat. As opposed to a non-frozen one?

Oh my, what an unexpected surprise!

Her cheeks were red in color.

It’s been my past experience that gas prices go up in the summer.

One of the basic fundamentals of writing is good grammar usage.

Now, take a look at your WIP, and see if you can spot the redundancies. Leave a comment, if you’d like to share a funny one you discover.


  1. This is good stuff, Laura. Some other examples:sit down, stand up, turn around. The other word that I overuse and so do most other writers I edit is "that"--most of us use it unnecessarily about 80% of the time. Love Yogi Berra quotes!

    1. Gail, I'm guilty of using up/down. I find myself editing those out. It's difficult to write differently than we talk. Glad you enjoyed the post!

  2. Oh my this is funny....but don't go reading my blog. This "southern girl" just writes and the "thats" and the well....s will probably make you cringe!!

    1. LOL, Piper. Your blog is great. Sometimes those words slip in, especially with informal writing. Blogs are much like conversation. I'm so glad you returned this week. I enjoy your comments. Thanks.

  3. I was looking for examples of redundancies for a cartoon, thanks!