It’s funny how editing commonalities come in spurts. In the past few weeks, I’ve noticed a lot of wordy phrases that can be shortened to “because.”
Do you ever use “due to the fact that”? Or maybe “owing to the fact that”?
How about “the reason is because” or “the reason is that”?
That type of wording is great when you’re working on NaNoWriMo and every word counts as you strive to hit 50,000 words by November 30, but in everyday writing, brevity goes a long way to clear communication.
Which of each pair is cleaner:
- School is cancelled due to the fact that a blizzard is forecasted.
- School is cancelled because of the blizzard.
- I like you because you are kind to animals.
- The reason I like you is because of your kindness to animals.
- She failed the test because she didn’t study.
- The reason she failed the test is that she didn’t study.
- He isn’t a first-string player owing to the fact that he seldom practices.
- He isn’t a first-string player because he seldom practices.
- The reason several homes burnt down is that a gas line exploded.
- Several homes burnt down because a gas line exploded.
- I’m happy due to the fact that I met you.
- I’m happy because I met you.
- We came in over budget owing to the fact that we spent more than we had.
- We came in over budget because we spend more than we had.
- She was overtired due to the fact that she stayed up all night.
- She was overtired because she stayed up all night.
The shorter sentences are easier to read, aren’t they?
What other wordy phrases can you think of that can be shortened to 1 or 2 words?
Lisa J. Jackson is an independent writer and editor who enjoys working with manufacturing, software, and technology businesses of all sizes. She loves researching topics, interviewing experts, and helping companies tell their stories. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.