Index    

Unintentional repetition of words and phrases     

Consider that effective writers sometimes intentionally repeat words and phrases whereas ineffective writers often repeat words and phrases unintentionally. Intentional repetition helps to emphasize important information or relationships, that is, it creates a rational pattern. In contrast, unintentional repetition creates patterns that lack sense (the patterns do not convey information). Unintended repetition is ineffective because the attentive reader will waste time trying to understand the sense underlying the repetition. Inattentive readers will not notice repetition. If you are writing for inattentive readers, you don't need my advice.

           

Here are some common words or terms that are ineffectively repeated at the start of sentences:

                        However, ...

                        Although ...

                        It is ...

                        There are ...

                        Whereas ...

Note that repeated use of "However," is deadening but repeated use of "But" is less deadening. Why? Three syllables vs one?

 

Other words that are ineffectively repeated in scientific writing include:

impact

plays a role in

drives

 

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