I see it the whole time.
Websites, blogs, emails – you name it – with sloppy writing, flabby sentences and way too much jargon.
But there’s one writing crime that really gets up my nose. Lazy repetition.
It drives me NUTS!
I came across this the other day: “I am writing to remind you of the Directors’ Meeting to be held on Wednesday, and to remind you, as a director, that all directors are obliged to attend.”
Repetition should only be used for clarity, emphasis, or poetic effect. None of which applies here.
Doesn’t this sound better? “I am writing to remind you of the Directors’ Meeting to be held on Wednesday, and your obligation to attend.”
If I’m a director, I presumably know I’m a director, and I don’t need to be reminded of my directorship. (The use of repetition here is ironic.)
And I found this on a website: “The aim of the study was to study the mating habits of the Tasmanian Tiger. The study was undertaken in March 2017 and the analysis of the findings was undertaken in May 2017.”
Oh for Pete’s sake!
Let’s try that again: “The aim of the research was to study the mating habits of the Tasmanian Tiger. The field work was undertaken in March 2017, and the analysis was completed in May the same year.”
. . . .
It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. . .
Aaahh. . .Now, that’s how you use repetition. Thank you, Charles Dickens.
Let me repeat that, for emphasis: Thank you, Charles Dickens.
Photo by Austin Moncada on Unsplash (Thanks, Austin)
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Hi Renee, Thanks for your kind comment. Please feel free to retweet!
Yes, how right you are. We are all too inclined to slip into repetition out of sheer laziness. Thank goodness for computers and the ability to change the words before sending the message.
Happy New Year!
You are so on point! ?
I’m glad you agree, Joy. It’s one of my pet hates!
I saw your tweets and thought I will check your website. Have to say it looks very good!
I’m also interested in this topic and have recently started my journey as young entrepreneur.
I’m also looking for the ways on how to promote my website. I have tried AdSense and Facebok Ads, however it is getting very expensive. Was thinking about starting using analytics. Do you recommend it?
Can you recommend something what works best for you?
I have subscribed to your newsletter. 🙂
Hi Jan, Thanks for stopping by and subscribing to The Craft of Copywriting. Have you tried guest blogging to promote your website? You need to find successful blogs with a wide audience, who are willing to publish guest posts with an author’s bio. Then you write the best post you have ever written about your topic, and include a link back to your site in your bio. Then you do it again, and again, and post lots of links to these articles in your social media platforms. You’ve got to be prepared to work hard, but it’s more effective (and a lot cheaper) than advertising because you will build your authority in your niche with every post that’s published. Good luck!
It’s good o be her on your space. I actually came by from Jon Morrows blog after reading and commenting on your latest post “26 Writing Exercises That’ll Give Your Content More Punch and Power.”
As humans we are inclined to repeat words, but I do that in my writing when I’m making an emphasis to dive home a point. Understandably, your later example of your message to directors sounds a lot better and interesting.
Thanks to this insightful post.
Good to have you here on my space. I hope you’ll drop in again. There’s nothing wrong with repeating words if it’s done for the right reasons. It’s lazy writing that gets up my nose!
Your writing style is iconic. I followed you down here from your new post on SmartBlogger. It was such a great one.
Like you, I hate repetition too. It sucks. It is a big writing crime. Writers that make such mistake don’t have editors or they don’t listen to their recommendations.
Thanks for sharing.
Thanks, Emenike. Great to see you here from SmartBlogger. Thanks for stopping by.
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This quote is often attributed to the Latin philosopher Boethius of the late fifth and early sixth centuries. It translates literally as, “If you had been silent, you would have remained a philosopher.” The phrase illustrates a common use of the subjunctive verb mood. Among other functions it expresses actions contrary to fact. Sir Humphrey Appleby translated it to the PM as: “If you’d kept your mouth shut we might have thought you were clever”.
And Happy New Year!
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Shame on Google for not positioning this post upper!
Come on over and visit my website. Thanks =)
That alone is already keyword stuffing.
The problem is that some of these writers don’t even know anything about SEO.
Excessive repetition like this doesn’t even make any logical sense to me.
Thanks for correcting it here. I hopefully, they will learn.
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