How to choice a word instead of a repeated word?


Hello every body. I'm learning English as my third language and I have many problems with grammar. I'm going to write an Email and I have trouble with using repeated words! How could I solve this problem? for example I'm copying a part of my Email :

I'm very interested in Philosophy, Economics (especially Austrian economics), and Epistemology (especially Hayek's one) and...
edited Apr 23 '12 at 04:36 Mehdi Abbasi New member

7 answers


I assume you mean the repeated "and"?


In your example, you are creating a series. Each item in the series is separated with a comma (as you have done). The last item is separated by a comma plus "and". You did that correctly for the first three items in your series.  Then you added a fourth item and repeated the "and".


A series can contain any number of items, but for readability should be limited to four or five at most. Only the last item receives the conjunction "and" -->  item One, item Two, item Three, and item Four.


"I'm very interested in Philosophy, Economics (especially Austrian economics), Epistemology (especially Hayek's one), and <the last item>"

link comment edited Apr 23 '12 at 04:44 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow
Thanks Jeff, My question is about using one instead of economics in "especially Austrian economics" or instead of epistemology in "especially Hayek's epistemology". We have a grammar rule in Persian that "never use a word repeatedly in a same sentence." For example economics and epistemology above.
link answered Apr 23 '12 at 04:55 Mehdi Abbasi New member

and 'especially'

Tony ProanoApr 23 '12 at 08:18

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While not a "rule" of English, repeated words are frowned upon as they make it more difficult for the reader and are often less precise.  Your use of parenthesis disguised the repetition (which is good) and I did not even see it on first reading.


When you are trying to provide more information, as you are with the parenthetical phrases, the trick is to actually provide more information.  So repetition is bad, and using "and" (which conveys less) is worse.  Search for phrases/words that provide more.


For the first repetition (economics) you could substitute "school" as that is how Austrian economics is often described --> Austrian school of economics.


" ... especially the Austrian school), ..."


For the second repetition (epistemology), Hayek's social epistemology is often described as being analytical epistemology. You could say "Hayek's analytical theory".


For especially, you want to find a synonym -- chiefly, mainly, specially -- or alternate phrasing "Hayek's analytical theory in particular."


"I am very interested in Philosophy, Economics (especially the Austrian school), and Epistemology (chiefly Hayek's analytical theory)."

link comment edited Apr 23 '12 at 14:59 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

You are right Jeff, Thanks a lot.Do you know any book to improve my scholarly writing school? Please introduce me. :)

link answered Apr 23 '12 at 18:08 Mehdi Abbasi New member

I always say, "The thesaurus is your friend." I love a good thesaurus. For a quick search, is easy to use.

Patty TApr 23 '12 at 19:36

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If only there was a single textbook! A small bookshelf may be required.  Here are those I find most useful.


A good hardcover dictionary. Paperback dictionaries typical cover only 45,000 words, while hardcover dictionaries have 65,000+ words. (English uses over 250,000 words, so even a good dictionary is a compromise.) My two favorites for American English are the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary and the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Both are available through Amazon (Amaon Kindle e-book versions are available).


A thesarsus to find synonym of the words you are repeating. I find either Bartlett's Roget's Thesarsus and Merriam-Webster's Thesarsus to be good.


Scholarly writing is often wordy and redundant. I find Robert Hartwell Fiske's Dictionary of Concise Writing to be very helpful. It lists over 10,000 bloated phrases and suggests more direct alternatives.


For the mechanics of scholarly writing (and these are a step beyond basic grammar), you may consider the Modern Language Association's MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing and the University of Chicago Press's Chicago Manual of Style useful.  These books are a go-to source for issues of style, puntuation, and other details of scholarly writing.


I know Amazon has each of these books available on their United States, United Kingdom, and German sites. They may have them on their other sites as well.


I hope this helps.

link comment edited Apr 23 '12 at 18:41 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow
Is this - grammatically - right to write "Hayek's one" instead of "Hayek's epistemology?
link edited Apr 24 '12 at 05:12 Mehdi Abbasi New member

Mehdi, see my additional answer.

Jeff PribylApr 24 '12 at 20:49

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"Is this - grammatically - right to write "Hayek's one" instead of "Hayek's epistemology?"


While it is grammatically correct, the usage produce vague results. "One" -- in this instance -- is a pronoun and its antecedent must be clear. Because the antecedent is often not clear or can be confused, formal writing tends to avoid this construction --> possessive + pronoun.  Two alternatives are to use a synonym noun (as discussed in other answers to this thread) or to omit the pronoun.


" ... epistemology (such as Hayek's conjecture) ..." --> uses an alternate noun.

" ... epistemology (such as Hayek's) ..." --> drops the pronoun altogether. 

link comment answered Apr 24 '12 at 20:48 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

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