“The fact that” isn’t a fact at all.

Posted: April 15, 2011 in PR Connections, Public Relations

PR Daily gave the advice that to improve your writing, you should annihilate the phrase “the fact that” from your writing immediately. Everyone uses it and knows they use it. It’s overused and usually doesn’t look good in a sentence. “The phrase generally signals a sentence that could profitably be recast”, says Bill Bryson. If you catch yourself writing this phrase, it would mean that you can rephrase the sentence and take that phrase out completely.

If it improves your writing, then by all means please do remove it. I know myself that I never thought of it that way and I use it all of the time. If removing the phrase from a sentence doesn’t stray from the meaning at all, then omit it. Usually removing it will have no effect on the sentence, it just adds wordiness to the sentence. Dr. Cotton, professor of my Creative Writing and Advanced Expository Writing courses, has taught so much to eliminate wordiness and make the sentences more concise. It is so vital in writing, and if omitting just a tiny phrase like this helps, then I know what I will be doing from now on. How about you?

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Comments
  1. I agree with you – I use that phrase all the time without paying any mind to the wordiness it may add. I recently read an article about the term “that”. It suggested to the reader “that” it should be avoided in sentence use. But how do you avoid using that? I think I use it at least four to five times in my paragraphs. I suppose eventually, if I care to do so, I will take the time to really look at my writing and eliminate words deemed unnecessary. Great post!

  2. […] Comment #18: I agree with you – I use that phrase all the time without paying any mind to the wordiness it may add. I recently read an article about the term “that”. It suggested to the reader “that” it should be avoided in sentence use. But how do you avoid using that? I think I use it at least four to five times in my paragraphs. I suppose eventually, if I care to do so, I will take the time to really look at my writing and eliminate words deemed unnecessary. Great post! *Posted to user blherrman […]

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