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Tuesday Tip #45: Cut the Filler

August 21, 2018

 

Some of you may be wondering, what is filler? Filler is the unnecessary words, sentences, or punctuation cluttering your prose! A common filler we find is the overuse of adverbs (think: recently, particularly, etc.). 

 

Consider the below example: 

 

This shows the filler words, phrases, and sentences versus the necessary content.

 

How can you reduce the clutter? Check out these 5 tricks! 

 

1. Avoid long clauses.

    BEFORE: The runner who'd been looking at their phone ran into the man. 

    AFTER: The runner ran into the man. 

  

2. Watch your transitions.

     BEFORE: I ran and therefore I'm tired. 

     AFTER: I'm tired from running. 

 

3. Cut adverbs.

     BEFORE: Currently our estimates are 2% higher than December's projections. 

     AFTER: Our estimates are 2% higher than December's projections.

 

4. Avoid repetition. 

     BEFORE: Our estimates are 2% higher than December's projections, which means we're 

                  higher than projections. 

     AFTER: We're 2% higher than December's projections. 

 

5. Watch out for -ing.

     BEFORE: Mike started talking to his boss. 

     AFTER: Mike talked to his boss. 

 

 

 

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