The spoken word automatically comes with a range of ways to convey your message: voice intonation, facial expression, gestures, and so on. But you simply don’t have the same advantages with the written word. As a result, you risk setting a tone that can be misconstrued.
To avoid confusion, I suggest you drop the following idioms and pompous phrases from your writing. You’ll immediately have more clarity!
These phrases come from my STRENGTHEN Everything You Write WordShop with a few additions I’ve gleaned from others:
- Not to mention . . . (then why mention it at all?)
- It goes without saying . . . (then why say it?)
- If I may say so . . . (it’s your writing; of course you may say so)
- I believe that . . . (it’s your writing; of course you believe it)
- In my humble opinion . . . (what makes it humble, anyway?)
- To tell the truth . . . (you mean you weren’t telling the truth?)
- To be honest with you . . . (you weren’t being honest before?)
- For the record . . . (are we in court?)
- Let me be perfectly clear . . . (followed by bafflegab)
- This may sound stupid but . . . (it already sounds stupid)
- With all due respect . . . (prefacing a negative comment this way doesn’t change it)
What idioms and pompous phrases would you add to this list?