English like many other languages, is constantly changing and Busy Bee Editing has to keep pace with such changes.

Nevertheless, certain modes of usage, although often ignored by professors and authoritative experts in many fields, including scientists, journalists, news anchors, civil servants etc. are considered by the majority of users as correct. We believe that usually these phrases or words are simply unnecessary verbiage which the users mistakenly consider more impressive than simply using straightforward clean English. They add nothing to the meaning of what is being said or written. We as editors, have to maintain acceptable standards so, from time-to-time, we remind English language users of common mistakes that appear in the manuscripts we handle every day, which we correct.

Here they are: These are definite NO NOs!

AT THIS POINT IN TIME – Just say ‘at this time, at the moment, right now etc.

PARTICULAR

MORE UNIQUE OR VERY UNIQUE – JUST SAY ‘UNIQUE’

IMPACTS ON – JUST SAY ‘IMPACTS’

COMPRISES OF – JUST SAY ‘COMPRISES’

MOST PROBABLY – JUST SAY ‘PROBABLY’

VOICED OUT – JUST SAY ‘VOICED’

HESITATION PHRASES OR WORDS

These add nothing to meaning but simply allow a speaker a breathing space so the brain can catch-up with his/her speech:

“err …”

“you know”

“like” (This is a favourite among younger speakers – but many speakers including yours truly, drop a “like” here or there).

Speakers should try and cut down on these “crutches” wherever possible, because they can be quite annoying for the listener.

The next set of guidelines will deal with excess verbiage in phrases and paragraphs.

Happy New Year for 2022. May it bring much happiness and success to all students and graduate students, business men and women and entrepeneurs in the new year, and heartfelt thanks go to all who made use of all our services.

Hugo and Brenda.

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