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Monday, March 16, 2015

Week 11 Eliminating Wordy References to Time

At the present time, our focus is on eliminating unnecessary words.
by Peggy

Last week Tamara talked about making sure every word counts. In references to time, are you wordy? How often do you use lengthy references to time? Here are a few to consider: at this point in time, at the present time, last but not least, during the time it takes, in this day and age... Instead, try using: now/then/or at this point, now, finally, and now/today/these days.

Change these up so they're not so wordy:

In this day and age, you don't want to waste your reader's time.

At this point in time, I think we should hold off.

You need to practice eliminating wordiness on a daily basis.

Did you come up with something like this:

These days, you don't want to waste your reader's time.

For now, I think we should hold off.

You need to practice eliminating wordiness every day.1 

Mr. Wilbers gives additional examples in a chart on page 61 (Chapter 11).

Eliminate six wordy references to time in the following paragraph.

At the present time, we've decided to wait until such time as we have a clearer picture of what our kitchen will look like subsequent to remodeling before we decide what to do with our dining room. During the course of the project, we'll start planning the next future phase. Last but not least, we'll move on to the bathroom.

What do you think? Did you find the six and do a fix? (And there you have the reason I don't write poetry...)

Share your revised paragraph in the comments below.

If you want more on this topic, check out grammar expert Richard Nordquist's post on 200 Redundancies.

TAMARA: I don't know, Peggy, I think at some future time, if you set your mind to it, in the final analysis, you could write poetry, or last but not least, jingles for tv ads. ;) (That was sort of opposite of the exercise, I put in as many time references as I could. I'll behave and put my revised paragraph in the comments.)

1Mastering the Craft of Writing, Steven Wilbers, pg 60


  1. How is this: We're remodeling. Once the kitchen is done, we'll decide what to do with the dining room. If we survive that we'll tackle the bathroom.

    I know I took some creative liberties but that is what happens when I let my inner editor loose!

  2. If we couldn't have long, wordy discussions about home do-it-yourself projects we might have to actually buckle down and get to work!