Don’t be inappropriate

Far too many people spatter what they write with words that don’t really need to be there. One of the best examples is the word “appropriate.” People have a tendency to work it into sentences to make them sound more important, even though that extra word really doesn’t add any value. A typical example? “Once we review the data, we’ll take appropriate action.”

That sentence is okay. But guess what? “Once we review the data, we’ll take action” says the same thing, but it does so in fewer words. Anytime you can convey the same message in fewer words, your writing becomes more economical and effective.

There is one time where it’s appropriate to add “appropriate,” and that’s when you’re trying to distinguish the course of action you’re describing from another action that would be inappropriate.