Business Writing

More Redundancy

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Following last week’s tip about redundancy I thought it might be useful to provide a list that includes some more, commonly-used, redundant expressions.

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Add an additional


When you add something it is, by definition, additional

  • We added $3,000 to the budget.
  • We added an additional $3,000 to the budget.

The only time you might need additional is if you had already added something. So if you had added $2,000 to the budget last week, you might add ‘an additional $3,000’. (That is, if you’re budgeting skills are not so good!)

Advance planning If you plan something, it is in advance of the event. The same goes for advance notice, advance warning and advance reservations. Giving notice, warning and making reservations are, by definition, done in advance.
At the time when ‘When’ is about time.

  • We will start the project at the time when the new staff join the team.
  •  We will start the project when the new staff join the team.
End result Result is what happens at the end, so ‘end’ is redundant. You may have ‘preliminary results’ which imply that something isn’t finished, and these could be followed by a ‘final result’. But the end result of this discussion is that we don’t need ‘end’.
Classify into groups Classifying is putting things into groups so there is no need to add ‘into groups’.

  • We classified the responses into groups according to size.
  • We classified the responses according to size.
Major breakthrough A breakthrough is a significant event. It does not need ‘major’.

  • After 10 days effort, the team had a breakthrough and worked out how to solve the production problem.
Write down This is frequently used in conversation, but we don’t need it when we write.

  • We wrote notes during the presentation.
  • We wrote down notes during the presentation.
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There are thousands of common redundancies. I’ve highlighted a few so you understand that you can often remove words that you don’t need.

That said there are some that are so common, that it is likely their use will continue forever. Think about these.

  • Free gift
  • Added bonus
  • All-time record
  • Cameo appearance

Happy writing.