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Dull Words and Phrases

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Green Cherries in the Fruitcake

7 Avoidable Phrases That Make Writing Dull

 

I have discovered why nobody in Congress wants to compromise: incest. If you don’t want to think beyond your own closed mind, you won’t want someone else’s ideas in there mucking things up. So that makes fertile ground for incestuous ideas--ideas that have affairs with other closely-related ideas--narrowing one’s perspective, until all the ideas in your head are first cousins.

However. No matter how recalcitrant, narrow-minded, and shortsighted our congressional members choose to be, they are mere pikers compared to the crowd-surfing, Wall of Death, verbal mosh pit that is the British House of Commons. An entire eight-hour session sounds like a British accent, yelling against a din of curses, shouting, and laughter:

 

“Order..order..order..order..order..order..order..order..order..order..order..”

 

I hope when our Congress finally gives up its quest to exceed the House of Commons in the Guinness Book of Obnoxiousness, they will hug, make up, and find a way to say, “We agree.”

 

But they won’t, because even when they say it, they don’t say it. They have to poke it full of nut words, green cherry words, and little chunks of pineapple words, stretch it out, plump it up, and dust it with a few other words, like they’re baking a fruitcake. All that butter and rum just to say, “We agree.”

 

When they serve it up and fob it off, we get, “We never sought clarification about the status of coming to an agreement on the concept of,” or “We are in consonance with our colleagues on the other side of the aisle over,” or “We would also like to come to complete agreement on a resolution to this matter (but we have to appear combative, ridiculous, uncompromising, and therefore interesting, or we will never get our own TV reality show when we’re through with this gig, and why are we in this if not for that?).”

 

But they aren’t the only ones. The rest of us are just as guilty:

 

Despite the failure of the parties to arrive at a meeting of the minds on the equity concept . . . .

 

I have conducted many arbitrations where the parties’ agreement is that I must apply rules of evidence as if I were sitting as a trial judge. 

 

I wanted to confirm this treatment with all of you, so we are all in agreement as to the proper tax allocations.

 

NOW, THEREFORE, it is agreed between the parties as follows:

We stand in agreement that this section has pertinence to any contract.

 

Here’s something on which we all can agree: WordRake is the only software in the world designed to edit for clarity and brevity. While I was writing this Tip, I blindly ran the sentences above through the WordRake editing software, and this is what it showed me:

 

Despite the failure of the parties to arrive at a meeting of the minds agree on the equity concept . . . . 

 

I have conducted many arbitrations where the parties’ agreement is that I must apply rules of evidence as if I were sitting as a trial judge. 

 

I wanted to confirm this treatment with all of you, so we are all in agreement as to all agree on the proper tax allocations. 

 

NOW, THEREFORE, it is agreed between the parties the parties agree as follows:

 

We stand in agreement agree that this section has pertinence to pertains to any contract.  

 

All I had to do was push one button, and WordRake made six of the seven possible edits for me.

 

WordRake is available for Microsoft Word and Microsoft Outlook, and now for Macs. Try it today and stop wasting precious time and precious words. The 7-day trial is free.

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About Gary Kinder

Gary Kinder

WordRake founder Gary Kinder has taught over 1,000 writing programs for AMLAW 100 firms, Fortune 500 companies, and government agencies. He’s also a New York Times bestselling author. As a writing expert and coach, Gary was inspired to create WordRake when he noticed a pattern in writing errors that he thought he could address with technology.

In 2012, Gary and his team of engineers created WordRake editing software to help writers produce clear, concise, and effective prose. It saves time and gives confidence. Writing and editing has never been easier.

WordRake takes you beyond the merely grammatical to the truly great—the quality editor you’ve always wanted. See for yourself.

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How Does it Work?

WordRake is editing software designed by writing expert and New York Times bestselling author Gary Kinder. Like an editor or helpful colleague, WordRake ripples through your document checking for needless words and cumbersome phrases. Its complex algorithms find and improve weak lead-ins, confusing language, and high-level grammar and usage slips.

WordRake runs in Microsoft Word and Outlook, and its suggestions appear in the familiar track-changes style. If you’ve used track changes, you already know how to use WordRake. There’s nothing to learn and nothing to interpret. Editing for clarity and brevity has never been easier.