„I have always envied modern homes in tropical climates because of the fact they can literally open to the outside almost all year long.“
I read that line in an online home design magazine a few days ago. Can you spot the problem? We’ll leave the controvertial use of the word literally for another post.
Because of the fact that / due to the fact that
This one goes back to our friends Strunk & White. There’s no getting around the fact that this particular phrase is widely used in spoken English. However, this is a phrase we should take pains to avoid in writing. Why? To answer that question, let’s start by restructuring the example sentence:
„I have always envied modern homes in tropical climates because they can open to the outside almost all year long.“
Note that the content is the same. So what was „the fact that“ doing there in the first place? Answer: taking up space. When it comes to these three little words, there is almost always a simpler, more elegant alternative. Less is more: if you don’t need it, delete it!