Fight writing “flab”

Fight writing “flab”

Be brief! It’s excellent writing advice. For those looking to have their work published in a newspaper, it used to be an order. After all, there’s only so much space on a newspaper page.

The internet has made textual space constraints obsolete. But attention spans are shorter than ever. So brevity is still next to godliness — if you want readers to pay attention.

I recently stumbled upon a list of “297 Flabby Words and Phrases That Rob Your Writing of All Its Power” by Shane Arthur. Words to live by.

My flabby favorites from Arthur’s list?

  • “When it comes to” — four words’ worth of throat clearing, to my ear.
  • Arthur’s many examples of “nominalization” — that is, using a noun when a verb will do.

I would add the phrase “create a new” to Arthur’s list. If you’ve created something, isn’t it by definition “new?”

We all have our favorite flabby words and phrases. How do you pump [CLAP] your writing up?

Robby Schrum