30 Obnoxious, Overused Phrases to Expunge from Your Writing

Obnoxious, Overused Words and Phrases to Expunge from Your Writing

“Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.” ~William Strunk Jr. in Elements of Style

Whether it's a three-word quip, a 300-word review or a 3000-word essay, it’s easy to fall into the temptation and write the way ‘everyone else’ writes—not considering if there’s a simpler way to say something.

However, one of the best ways to stand out from the crowd and improve your writing is to cut the clutter by eliminating unnecessary words and phrases in your text.

Writers know they should not conflate their work with obnoxious words that don't really mean anything. The problem, however, lies in recognizing the source of wordiness in the articles, blog posts, e-mails, sales copy, and even fiction we write.

Not recognizing wordiness hinders us from achieving what Robert Hartwell Fiske, editor of the online journal Vocabula Review, calls "The Perfectibility of Words."

If you wish to write precisely and professionally without trading in puffery, it’s vital that you expunge any important-sounding words and overused phrases that add nothing to the meaning of a sentence.

Featured Image – 30 Obnoxious Phrases to Expunge from Your Writing Today

Here are common wordy phrases and overused words you should expunge from your writing to achieve "The Perfectibility of Words" that Fiske talks about in "The Dictionary of Concise Writing":


1. mutual agreement

Just say agreement

2. future prospects

Just say prospects

3. whether or not

Just say whether

4. consensus of opinion

Just say consensus

5. reconsider again

Just say reconsider

6. return back

Just say return

7. inadvertent error

Just say error

8. at this point in time

Just say now/then

9. for the purpose of

Just say to

10. due to the fact that

Just say because

11. in the near future

Just say soon

12. in view of the fact that

Just say because

13. there is no doubt that

Just say doubtless

14. despite the fact that

Just say although

15. concerning the matter of

 Just say about

16. in the event that

 Just say if

17. owing to the fact that/due to the fact that

 Just say since/because

18. for the purpose of

 Just say to

19. the question as to whether

Just say whether

20. bring the matter to a conclusion

Just say conclude

21. aware of the fact that

Just say know

22. at this present time

Just say now/today

23. it is clear that

Just say clearly

24. is able to

Just say can

25. in spite of the fact that

Just say even though

26. seem to be

Just say seem

27. on a personal basis

Just say personally

28. until such a time as

Just say until

29. the reason why is that

Just say because

30. in this day and age

Just say today