“Make every word tell”: this sound advice from The Elements of Style speaks not only to making your texts concise, but to ensuring you stick to strong language and avoid wasting words. Why write “exceeding the speed limit” when “speeding” is less wordy and more powerful? Check out our latest list of superfluous words to strike from your writing.





it is possible that nothing will come of the situation    nothing may come of it


Reduce to one word

any particular type of

feedback received

full gamut

overall focus

might possibly

brand new

skirt around

exceed the speed limit

as is often the case

awkward predicament

orbit around

neighbor next door


Replace with one word

a piece of writing    text

last but not least    lastly; finally

up in the air    unknown

during the time    when

believe but cannot confirm    assume