Who was unnecessary?

“Bjerknes was a Norwegian physicist who was born in 1862,” Hannah Fry writes in The New Yorker.

I would delete “who was” to make the sentence as simple and straightforward as possible. “Who was” doesn’t make anything clearer; these words don’t add any panache, or even any connotation.

As you’re writing, set your alarm to go off every time you use “who” or “that.” It’s often a sign you’ve gummed up your writing unnecessarily.

Also avoid using unnecessarily when you don’t need to.

2 thoughts on “Who was unnecessary?

  1. In the old days, the article “A” in the title of your site would have been lower case. Not so much any more??

    Thanks for making what used to be the Ipswich Chronicle worth reading.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, under the traditional rules of capitalization, “a” would be lowercase. I debated it, and decided in the end to go with what seemed to me to be more visually pleasing. Thanks for the kind words!


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