• Sharanya

Succinct Writing 2: Iceberg Lettuce Phrasing

An important part of ensuring succinctness in your writing is to eliminate unnecessary "filler words". These words are those you think make yourself sound smarter and your argument better thought out. However it's like the iceberg lettuce in salads. It adds only bulk and no value whatsoever.


Examples:

Iceberg Lettuce Phrasing: The perception of Harper Lee in regards to justice is that of a positive nature.

Good Phrasing: Harper Lee perceives justice as positive.


Iceberg Lettuce Phrasing: Bradbury’s view on how different experiences can affect unity and belonging is that experiences can isolate people and give them no sense of belonging.

Good Phrasing: Bradbury illustrates in his works that unique experiences can isolate people.


How do you eliminate iceberg lettuce phrasing? Below are a few ways to get started:


1. In a compound sentence, make sure that all of the clauses are expressing distinct points. They can build upon each other, but make sure they do not repeat the same idea.

2. In successive sentences, make sure they are all exploring a different part of the main idea. Ensure that they either build upon, extend or question previous sentences rather than repeat it in a different phrasing.

3. In each clause, make sure you only keep one adjective out of a list of synonymous adjectives.


Make sure you check your writing for iceberg lettuce phrasing!

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