Entirely Unnecessary

Lately I’ve been coming across writers misusing entire and entirely. They include it in a mistaken attempt to add emphasis or distinction to a noun, but it often acts as only an empty modifier. If you write that you could write an entire article about something or that you love an ingredient so much that you could bake an entire cake with it, that’s no stronger than simply writing an article or baking a cake. Removing entire doesn’t suggest that you’d be writing part of an article or making a piece of cake. Including the modifier doesn’t deepen the impact of the noun, and excluding it doesn’t minimize the noun. Better, in these cases, to trim it from your copy.


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