Writing Tips

Useless Words

Our best writing tip? Edit for clarity and brevity with WordRake. It’s an automated in-line editor that checks for needless words, cumbersome phrases, clichés, and more.

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Sasquatch on Noah's Ark

Why You Should Check Your Writing for "As"

You're on "Coast-to-Coast" with George Noory, and for one hour you’ve debated George’s other guest, who is an expert on where Noah’s Ark landed on Mount Ararat. He has scripture and physical proof, and never mind that the proof has long been identified as wood splinters from a railroad tie in Long Beach.

After the other guest fields a question about how many sasquatches boarded the ark, George says, "Well, gentlemen, that is a fascinating story. And…to be continued." The party's over. George adds, "Thank you for coming on our show," and you say, "Thanks for having me," which sounds like your five-year-old daughter leaving a sleepover. We all need a more gracious, eloquent, adult way of saying goodbye on the air. It’s the hardest part of our 15 fame minutes. The trick is to say something that will get us invited back, so we can extend those minutes, because, you must have heard, there will be a prize for the most minutes.

So what do you say? "It's my pleasure, George. You ask great questions." I don't think so. You say, "Great, George, great, a transcendent show, a real pleasure to be with you. Next time, I want to talk to your three million listeners about the word 'as.'" See what I mean? Now George gets excited. "Will one hour be enough, or should I tell my producer to block out two?" That's the way it works.

When George cancels his other guests, and you return the next night, tell the audience, "Treat the word 'as' like you treat the words 'in' and 'of' (Tip: "Whether Pigs Have Wings"): look around it for words you can remove with no loss of meaning."

The text of 25(b) of IT-479 is as follows:

Defendants included a Declaration and attached as an exhibit a copy of . . . .

As you know, under the Agreement . . . ,

The following are regarded as part of your normal overhead.

As such, the anti-retaliation provision protects employees from . . . .

If George doesn’t go for the “as” idea (hard to imagine, but just in case), suggest two hours on “Disruptive Innovation.” That’s my transparent segue into reminding you that Harvard Law School recently identified WordRake editing software as “Disruptive Innovation,” helping professionals (and anyone else who writes) enhance the quality of their work and the speed with which they deliver it. As one of the WordRake patent lawyers put it, "Being disruptive is a good thing?"

P.S. At the push of a button, WordRake would have made four of these five edits for you.

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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.