Oxymorons and Redundant Phrases
Oxymoron: A figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction.
Redundant: Words or data able to be omitted without loss of meaning or function.
Writers habitually insert meaningless phrases into sentences. They clutter up text with unnecessary words. Learn to recognize an oxymoron and your writing will improve.
past history future forecast
end result lagging behind
close proximity young children
combined total final conclusion
original copies alone together
exact estimates deafening silence
growing smaller almost impossible
taped live pretty ugly
On the left the following phrases should be avoided. On the right are possible replacements.
- on the basis of – based on
- to a large extent – largely
- for the reason that – because
- on the grounds of – because of, for
- at this point in time – now
- plan ahead – plan
- has the ability to – can
- the majority of – most
- yellow in colour – yellow
- put in place of – substitute
- on a personal – personally
- At the end of the day – finally
- with respect to – about
- each and every – all
- in order to – to
What phrases can you add from your own work?
Some phrases add nothing to the content; they only add a preamble before the real message.
When in doubt – cut it out.