A humble proposal to completely eliminate unnecessary and redundant phrases and clichés from our written words
Writing is a labor of love, but, as the sun sets in the west, and the moon rises in the night sky, Neo often thinks to himself, “Why do we writers use these redundant phrases in our writing ? Where else would the sun set and the moon rise ? Also, in the absence of telepathy, whom would anyone be thinking to, but to themselves?”
The tragically sad truth is – even in the modern world of today, we write as if we were in the modern world of yesterday. We have armed ourselves to our whitened teeth with tired, worn and overused clichés and redundant phrases. We use them as artificial prostheses, leaving no stone unturned to spell out everything in obvious, nose-hair-revealing, high-definition detail. We tell our readers about islands that are surrounded with water, about our past experiences, our future plans to make advance reservations as grown adults, about unexpected surprises involving sudden explosions, our regular routines, our awkward predicaments involving anonymous strangers, and our personal thoughts on frozen ice and poisonous venom.
Before you know it, the end result is writing that feels as dull as a dead doornail in the deathly calm of the night in the darkest hour before dawn. To add insult to injury, it causes our esteemed and valuable readers to plumb the deep depths of drudgery and despair as they wade ankle-deep through a world of words that feels like a cheap foreign import from overseas.
Completely eliminating unnecessary redundancies and clichés is easier said than done. Far be it for Neo to preach, since he, for one, is second to none in having so many skeletons in his closet, it’s par for the course. From the sublime to the ridiculous, he has not shied from over-exaggerating and making unintentional mistakes, especially when he has been writing at three a.m. in the morning about a three-way love triangle. But Neo is trying to jump from the fire into the frying pan, while the kettle is still black.
But there is hope for the future, and even, maybe, hope for the past. One can also hope that the Pope will be a thing of the past. So here’s some food for thought. Let’s face the actual facts and be brutally honest about the ground reality. Basically, at the end of the day, we are fundamentally all the same. The fact of the matter is, 110% of the time, we are trying to impress the general public with our writing skills. That’s the current trend in this day and age. But going ahead with this sort of language is a sure-fire way to disappoint, and is a sugary-sweet, slippery slope to hell in a Palika Bazaar hand-basket.
All of us want to eat, drink, shoot, leave and be merry while we write. But let’s look before we leap into the limelight of the uncharted seas. Let’s scrutinize our writing in detail before we throw in the hand-towel and hit the submit button with the fingers on our hands. If there is no method to the madness of our words, we’re better off nipping it in the bud, taking the bull by the horns and playing hard ball with the delete key. Let’s cut our losses by stripping our words to the absolutely essentially necessary. Please, by all means, let’s resolve to lend our readers a helping hand, just in the nick of time.
Better late than never.