Daily Writing Tips has this handy list of 50 wordy phrases with less-wordy substitutes. Print it out, tape it to your bathroom mirror, and have a look at it every morning.
One thing I’ll add to Matthew’s article is an easy way to type an em dash, at least on a PC with a full keyboard. First, make sure your Num Lock is on. That’s the key in the upper left corner of your numeric keypad. To type an em dash, hold down the Alt key while typing 0151 on your numeric keypad. Then release the Alt key and–voila!
Readers of this blog probably dislike what Stan Carey refers to as the quotative like: using like to introduce a quotation. E.g., “I’m like, ‘no way!’.” Now, I do not recommend the quotative like in legal writing. For example, “The trial judge was like, ‘objection sustained’” would probably get your brief hung on the wall of shame. But in less formal contexts, perhaps the quotative like can do things that more traditional verbs, like said, cannot. At least Stan thinks so. And if a usage fills a gap in traditional usage, it’s likely to catch on.