Slang and Cliches:
Choose your words carefully when you write.  develop the habit of selecting words that are precise and appropriate for your purpose. You must avoid slang, cliches, pretentious words, and wordiness.
When we talk, we often use slang words because they are vivid and colorful. In formal writing, however, slang has no place. 
Consider The Following:
      • When we told the neighbors to can the noise, they freaked out.
      • I didn't know how messed up John was until he stole money from his parents and split.
      • After a hard day, I like to veg out in front of the idiot box.
      • John was wiped out after his workout at the gym that he couldn't get it together to defrost a frozen dinner.
      • When Paul tried to put the move on Maria, she told him to shove off.
      • My father claims that most grease monkeys are rip-off artists.
      • After the game, we stuffed our faces at the dinner.
      • The movie grossed me out.
A cliche is an expression that has been worn out through constant use. Although they are common in speech, they make writing seem stale.  You should avoid cliches and try to express your meaning in original ways. Here are some typical cliches: 
short but sweet last but not least drop in the bucket work like a dog
all work and no play word to the wise it goes without saying it dawned on me
at a loss for words sigh of relief too little, too late too a turn for the worse
singing the blues easier said than done on top of the world in the nick of time
too close for comfort time and time again saw the light make ends meet
Pretentious Words:

Some people feel they can improve their writing by using fancy. elevated words rather than simple, natural words.  They use artificial language that more often obscure their meaning than communicates it clearly. Here are some inflated words you ought to avoid and replace with simpler words:

Pretentious Words


subsequent to after
finalize finish
transmit send
facilitate help
component part
initiate begin
delineate describe
manifested shown
to endeavor to try


We often use words such as good, bad, wonderful etc.. in our writing.  Thinking about the meaning of such words, you will find that they are vague and do not describe precisely what you want to describe.  It is much better to avoid such vocabulary.


Using more than necessary words to express a meaning is often a sign of lazy or careless writing. 

Consider The Following:

"In this paper I am planning to describe the hobby that I enjoy of collecting old comic books."  This sentence is too wordy and can be reduced to: "I enjoy collecting old comic books."

Here is a list of wordy expressions and their revision:



at the present time now
in the event that if
in the near future soon
due to the fact that because
for the reason that because
is able to can
in every instance always
in this day and age today
during the time that while
a large number of many
big in size big
red in color red
return back return
commute back and forth commute
postponed until later postponed

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