Wordiness, verbosity, prolixity … These words refer to the same thing: using more words than you need to! If you consistently find yourself writing excessively long sentences, editing and proofreading services are well worth considering. Book proofreading services UK may also be useful to remove wordiness from your newly-written fiction or non-fiction book, but we believe that professional editing is the best way forward.
For those of you who have used editing and proofreading services, you will already have gained first-hand experience in how powerful such services can be in eliminating wordiness, redundancy, and filler words from your document. However, since not everyone can afford these services, and since some long-time service users may be wondering what editors and proofreaders actually do to reduce verbosity, this article highlights a few considerations.
Avoiding redundant expressions
A redundant expression is an unnecessary one. An expression is regarded as redundant if it contains two or more words with the same meaning, or if it contains any words that do not contribute to the meaning of the expression. For example, “I will add up three numbers” is a redundant expression because the word “up” does not add to the expression’s overall meaning. We can – and any good editor would – remove this word.
Resisting the overuse of qualifiers
A qualifier is placed before an adverb or adjective, and its purpose is to decrease or increase the quality of the modified word. As a case in point, “very” is a qualifier in the sentence “I am very happy.” First language speakers of English know how distracting the overuse of qualifiers can be, but it is always tempting to include them in our writing for expressive or descriptive purposes.
Strong editors can help you to write more concisely, and thus avoid legitimate accusations of prolixity, by removing unnecessary qualifiers. Consider the sentence from the previous example: “I am very happy.” A good editor will recognise that we can change this four-word expression into a three-word expression by eliminating the unnecessary qualifier, as follows: “I am delighted.”
Curing your logorrhea
Logorrhea refers to the use of intentionally wordy writing or excessively abstract wording. George Orwell, the famous British writer and journalist, satirised logorrhea with the following infuriating sentence: “Objective considerations of contemporary phenomena compel the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account.”
Having your work checked by a professional carries a cost! The upside to this is, if found that you’re contains grammatical mistakes, they will be corrected and marked for your attention by most editor’s and your work receives that all important presentational approval.