I used Google News to search for news stories containing any of the 25 phrases to tighten. I discovered that the three most common phrases were "reason why," "in the near future" and "in the meantime." I think these are the most common because they are often used in everyday life, in casual conversation. Some other popular phrses were "due to the fact that," "at any given time" and "in the event that."
One of the phrases that has always annoyed me is "reach a decision" as opposed to "decide." This is one of the stories that I found in my search. Although it's a pretty short story in its original form, it could still use some trimming. Here's my slimmed-down version:
MU planning snow day rescheduling
COLUMBIA —Faculty and administrators met Friday to discuss options for making up recent snow days, and they hope to decide reach their decision next week.
After Faculty Council members weigh their options, students and other faculty will also be asked to comment, said Leona Rubin, chair of the executive committee.
The situation is a new challenge for MU administration because classes have never been canceled twice in one year, let alone three times in a row.
“Some professors might have to come up with their own ways of making up those days,” Rubin said. “But we would like to give them an option.”