Extraneous Words Exercise (690)

In each sentence, delete a superfluous word or phrase or replace a verbose phrase with fewer words.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: The gene encodes a protein essential for the viability of rod photoreceptors and is found in the epithelial lining of bronchial and sinus tissues.
Correct : The gene, which encodes a protein essential for the viability of rod photoreceptors, is found in the epithelial lining of bronchial and sinus tissues.

When a sentence provides two unrelated facts in succession, it’s helpful to parenthesize one, as shown in the revision here, to clarify that the two phrases are only tangentially related.

2.
Original: Like Smith, Jones, an archaeologist at the university, also thinks the site was a colonial dwelling.
Correct : Like Smith, Jones, an archaeologist at the university, thinks the site was a colonial dwelling.

"Also" is redundant to "like," which already indicates that two things have something in common.

3.
Original: The district’s Board of Directors will decide Friday whether or not to study the cost and other complications of a potential takeover.
Correct : The district’s Board of Directors will decide Friday whether to study the cost and other complications of a potential takeover.

Because "whether" already signals a yes/no choice, "or not" is redundant.

4.
Original: The melting snowpack traditionally provides at least one-third of California’s water each year through the state’s network of reservoirs and also replenishes the groundwater in its deep aquifers.
Correct : The melting snowpack traditionally provides at least one-third of California’s water each year through the state’s network of reservoirs and replenishes the groundwater in its deep aquifers.

The conjunction "and" notifies the reader that an additional fact will be introduced; "also," therefore, is superfluous.

5.
Original: The reason for the recall is because the established quality-assurance protocol was not followed.
Correct : The recall occurred because the established quality-assurance protocol was not followed.

This sentence can be revised in various ways, but any correction must observe that "the reason . . . is because" is redundant; "reason" and "because" clash because they both signal that an explanation is forthcoming.

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