When it comes to writing, I’ll never argue that using fewer words is automatically better. But in most professional writing — and particularly in the marketing industry, where I work — it’s important to make every word count. That’s what I like to call writing tight.*

So consider the following phrases, temporal expressions that I encounter consistently:

on a daily basis
on a weekly basis
on a consistent basis
on a regular basis
on an occasional basis
on an intermittent basis

The trouble? Look closely, and you’ll see that these phrases are just adverbs dressed in extra clothes. My advice is to strip down a construction like this so that its “-ly” is showing.

on a daily basis → daily
on a weekly basis → weekly
on a consistent basis → consistently
on a regular basis → regularly
on an occasional basis → occasionally
on an intermittent basis → intermittently

Occasionally, I run across an example that sounds a little more bizarre:

The committee meets only on an as-needed basis.

The version below is shorter, yes — but also easier to read. Wouldn’t you agree?

The committee meets only as needed.

*(Note to pedantic grammarians: tight and tightly are both valid adverbs.)

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