More fluff

rogersgeorge on August 10th, 2010

“Fluff” is a technical term for unnecessary words. Okay, maybe it’s not so technical a term, but we agree that one syllable is better than six, right?

Fluff can appear so many ways in writing, the concept is best taught by example. Lots of examples, so expect to see more posts on this subject in the future. (I suppose the last three words of that sentence qualify as fluff, since they don’t change the meaning. When else would you expect to see more posts but in the future?)

Speaking of time, here’s an example of fluff that refers to the past:

[the customer] has a previous history of experience with our product.

Can you identify the fluff? Yup, history is always previous, so strike “previous.”

Here’s the best rule I can think of regarding fluff: If deleting it doesn’t change the meaning, delete it. You end up with concise, smooth prose that people love to read.

I invite you to comment with an example of fluff that you love to hate.

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