Writers often use more words than they need. While it's not “wrong” in a grammatical sense, too many unnecessary words could slow readers down and distract them.

One place wordiness lurks is in modifiers. Here's how you can condense compound modifiers into a single, more expressive word:

  • The baby cried loudly = the baby wailed
  • Large, opulent house = mansion
  • Loudly cheering fans = screaming fans
  • Exceedingly large bear = immense bear

And be on the lookout for ways to trim these qualifiers: “Very,” “really,” “actually,” “basically,” “definitely.”

Taken from Clarity is Key: Making Writing Clean and Concise, a Webinar replay by Lisa McLendon at Poynter NewsU.

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