Words/Expressions to Avoid Worksheet

20 Words and Expressions That Good Writers Avoid

Instructors: Looking for a change-of-pace exercise? Try this worksheet with your students! Discuss the wordy expressions with your class; then let them apply what they’ve learned by editing the practice sentences. We’ve included a key for you, too!

Avoiding the following 20 wordy expressions and poor word choices will make your writing stronger.

  1. And also. This expression is usually redundant.
  2. And/or. Outside the legal field this expression is unnecessary. Use one word or the other.
  3. As to whether. The single word whether is sufficient.
  4. Basically, essentially, and totally. Eliminate these overused and empty words because they seldom add anything useful to your writing.
  5. Being that, being as. Replace these nonstandard expressions with because.
  6. Considered to be. Eliminate to be for concise expression.
  7. Due to the fact that. Convey your meaning concisely with because.
  8. Each and every. Use one or the other but not both words.
  9. Equally as. Something can be equally important or as important as, but not equally as important.
  10. Etc. This abbreviation suggests that you could provide more examples but you don’t want to bother.
  11. Firstly, secondly, thirdly. Instead of these adverbial forms, use first, second, and third.
  12. Get, got. Use more precise words to avoid the ugly and meaningless verb get.
  13. Kind of, sort of. These expressions are appropriate in informal communication. In business writing substitute somewhat, rather, or slightly.
  14. Lots, lots of. Instead of these colloquial words, use many or much.
  15. Nature. Instead of movies of a violent nature, describe them as violent movies.
  16. On account of. Replace with because.
  17. Per. In legal and technical documents, per is acceptable. Elsewhere, use according to.
  18. Plus. Don’t use this word as a conjunction. Use and or in addition.
  19. The reason is because. Replace with the reason is that.
  20. Utilize, utilization. Replace with use.

Revise the following sentences to avoid any of the poor expressions discussed above.

  1. Many companies are limiting the use of personal cell phones in the workplace on account of the jangle of beeps and tunes coming from them.
  2. A total of 53 percent of employees said that they felt impatient and/or angry when a coworker stops a conversation because of an incoming wireless call.
  3. A lot of employees said that their No. 1 pet peeve at work was the ringing of cell phones.
  4. Plus, employers are worried about the drain on productivity.
  5. More than a third of companies have gotten policies to address the utilization of personal cell phones.
  6. Companies cited lots of reasons for limiting the use of cell phones on the job.
  7. Firstly, cell phones in the workplace are noisy. Secondly, they disrupt the work environment. Thirdly, they reduce productivity and etc.
  8. Employees are totally exasperated at coworkers who leave a cell phone essentially blasting away unanswered.
  9. Equally as important is the safety issue, as per a recent report.
  10. Being that employees are driving and conducting business while talking on cell phones, employers are concerned.
  11. The reason is because employers may be held liable when accidents occur.
  12. It is not important as to whether the employee is using a personal cell phone.
  13. It is also considered to be unimportant as to whether the employee is conducting business outside of normal working hours.
  14. Employers are basically afraid that they will be responsible for injuries and damage caused by employees using cell phones.
  15. Due to the fact that employers fear all accidents, whether of a serious nature or not, they are limiting cell phone use.

—————-

Solutions

  1. Many companies are limiting the use of personal cell phones in the workplace on account because of the jangle of beeps and tunes coming from them.
  2. A total of 53 percent of employees said that they felt impatient and/or and [or or] angry when a coworker stops a conversation because of an incoming wireless call.
  3. A lot of Many employees said that their No. 1 pet peeve at work was the ringing of cell phones.
  4. Plus, In addition, employers are worried about the drain on productivity.
  5. More than a third of companies have gotten enacted [or instituted] policies to address the utilization use of personal cell phones.
  6. Companies cited lots of many reasons for limiting the use of cell phones on the job.
  7. Firstly First, cell phones in the workplace are noisy. Secondly, Second, they disrupt the work environment. Thirdly, they reduce productivity and etc.
  8. Employees are totally exasperated at coworkers who leave a cell phone essentially blasting away unanswered.
  9. Equally as important is the safety issue, as per according to a recent report.
  10. Being that Because employees are driving and conducting business while talking on cell phones, employers are concerned.
  11. The reason is because that employers may be held liable when accidents occur.
  12. It is not important as to whether the employee is using a personal cell phone.
  13. It is also considered to be unimportant as to whether the employee is conducting business outside of normal working hours.
  14. Employers are basically afraid that they will be responsible for injuries and damage caused by employees using cell phones.
  15. Due to the fact that Because employers fear all accidents, whether of a serious nature or not, they are limiting cell phone use.

Source: Based on “Plague Words and Phrases” <http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/plague.htm&gt;

 

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