“Omit needless words.”― William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style
We have many phrases and expressions in the English language which contain needless words. What do we mean by needless words? These are words that, if you removed them from the clause or phrase, the meaning you are left with is exactly the same. When you write, you have to decide which words are necessary and which are just fillers. By ‘fillers’, this means that the word does not add anything to the change the meaning of the sentence.
expressions with needless words
aid and abet
bouquet of flowers
few in number
filled to capacity
Needless words can also work against providing a clear meaning in a sentence. They can make a statement seem vague and unconvincing. These are words such as ‘just’, really, perhaps … and others discussed here
I just thought I would email you my details. I thought I would email you my details.
They really are not friends. They are not friends.
Quite I quite like the dress. I like the dress.
Perhaps we should call it quits. We should call it quits.
That I love the gift that you gave Sarah. I love the gift you gave Sarah.
We have many phrases and expressions in the English language which contain needless words. Eliminating needless words makes written and spoken English clearer and also makes written work pace much better. A great example of this is the work of Ernest Hemingway. If you read Ernest Hemingway’s novels, which are absolute classics and highly entertaining, you will notice that he pares his sentences down, keeping them not only short but also concise. There is not a needless word to be had in the writing of this author.