Last week, we used verbs to illustrate extraneous words. However, extra words can include any part of speech, whether verbs, nouns, adjectives, pronouns, conjunctions, prepositions or adverbs. The sentences below attest to extra word usage in another way.
Sentence: The study included two additional variables; BOTH OF WHICH were deemed significant in the secondary model.
Edited Sentence: The study included two additional variables; BOTH were deemed significant in the secondary model.
Explanation: In the initial sentence, the subject of the second sentence is the phrase “both of which.” That subject includes the pronoun “both,” followed by the preposition “of” and ending with the pronoun “which” (the word “which” can function as more than one part of speech; here, it functions as a pronoun).
Note that the words “of which” are deleted in the edited sentence to make the sentence more concise and focus on the true subject (“both”). By removing “of which,” you can clearly see that the words did not add any meaning to the sentence. In fact, with a focus on the subject “both,” it is clear that this pronoun replaces the “two additional variables” of the previous sentence.
When finalizing your documents, look to delete any words or phrases from your writing that do not not clarify or add needing meaning.
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