There are lots of places we, as writers, use unnecessary words, but here are a few common phrases we can get in the habit of hacking:
- in order to -> can always be “to”
- located in -> can always be “in”
- located at -> can always be “at”
- 7 different types -> can always be “7 types” (the reader typically assumes multiples are different)
- panoramic view -> can always be “panorama”
- close proximity -> can always be “proximity”
Have I mentioned that I’m an editor for a living? I thought I’d share a few editing tips from time to time. They’ll just be quick, simple hits – things you can commit to memory if you want, or things you can just throw out the window if you prefer.
Here’s one that seems to slip by a lot of people:
These have different meanings.
Complement (with an “e”) has a connotation of completing (I remember this one as “compleeeeeting” so I’ll spell it with an “e”):
- The throw pillows complement the living room.
- His tie complements his suit.
- The husband and wife have complementary careers.
Compliment (with an “i”) denotes praise, and always comes from a human being:
- She was flattered by Jim’s compliment.
- Someone complimented him on his tie.
The one that means “free” is also the “i”: Throw in some complimentary tickets and I’ll be there!