Needless words

 From The Elements of Style, William Strunk, Jr., Via Bartleby.com

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.

Many expressions in common use violate this principle:

 

the question as to whether whether (the question whether)
there is no doubt but that no doubt (doubtless)
used for fuel purposes used for fuel
he is a man who he
in a hasty manner hastily
this is a subject which this subject
His story is a strange one. His story is strange.

In especial the expression the fact that should be revised out of every sentence in which it occurs.

 

owing to the fact that since (because)
in spite of the fact that though (although)
call your attention to the fact that remind you (notify you)
I was unaware of the fact that I was unaware that (did not know)
the fact that he had not succeeded his failure
the fact that I had arrived my arrival

 

Who is, which was, and the like are often superfluous.

 

His brother, who is a member of the same firm His brother, a member of the same firm
Trafalgar, which was Nelson’s last battle Trafalgar, Nelson’s last battle

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