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Redundant Modifiers

Today, we will look at redundant modifiers. It is easy to add words we feel give extra description. What we don’t realize is that many of them mean the same thing as the word we are trying to enhance. Let’s look at a few common examples.

free gift   final conclusion   first invented   regular routine  short summary   exactly the same   same identical   future projections

Do you notice both words in each phrase mean the same thing? A gift is not a gift if it is not free. Do we need to tell our reader it was a free gift?

We also add redundancy to our writing when we write phrases to explain things that don’t need an explanation. We have hit on this one before, but in case you missed that exercise, here is an example.

  • “That tickles,” she giggled.
  • “That tickles.”

I think everyone would agree that if something tickles, we will giggle. We don’t need to state that fact. Here’s another non-dialogue example.

  • There was a pause as no one spoke.
  • No one spoke.

Again, we don’t need to tell the reader there was a pause. It is obvious.

Your Assignment

This exercise requires you to read your chapter and examine your sentences. You cannot use your search tool for this exercise. Look for redundant phrases and modifiers and remove them.

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