Clear Technical Writing
Clear Phrasing

Bloated Prepositions

Some words are so simple we might feel the need to dress them up, make them weightier, more professional. This is unfortunately the case with many prepositional phrases.

We think survey data in conjunction with customer feedback will be informative.

We think survey data and customer feedback will be informative.

Simple words like and are glue; they hold together the important things we want to say. Readers like the glue. It helps them read quicker and comprehend better.

Here are some common examples of bloat and glue.

along with → and

as well as → and

in such a manner that → so

in order that → so

in the case of → for

with respect to → for

by means of → with

by using → with

in case → if

in the event → if

Replacing bloat sometimes requires a rewrite of a noun as a verb.

In the event of a server crash, send the alert.

If a server crashes, send the alert.

Edit your writing by underlining bloated prepositional phrases.

The algorithms along with data led us to surprising results. Provide more training data in order that the machine can develop its own algorithm. Evaluate the new computer with respect to the accuracy of predictions. Approach the problem by means of various symbolic methods. In case computer vision algorithms are infeasible, try machine learning.  

Lesson: Bloated Prepositions
Module: Clear Phrasing
Course: Clear Technical Writing