How to seek and destroy useless words

Jane Friedman publishes excerpts from Keys to Great Writing, a book by Stephen Wilbers, who offers tips on how to find and remove unnecessary words from your writing. Wilbers writes: "The more frequently we hear and read certain word combinations, the more acceptable they begin to sound and the more likely we are to use them unthinkingly — not because they are the best, most natural, and concise way to say what we have to say, but simply because they sound familiar."