Author Topic: Eliminate these 15 Words to Sound Smarter  (Read 1959 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline MaterDominici

  • Owner's Wife
  • Mod
  • *****
  • Posts: 4936
  • Reputation: +3673/-69
  • Gender: Female
Eliminate these 15 Words to Sound Smarter
« on: May 06, 2015, 02:10:11 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • An entertaining read even if you're not capable of actually implementing these suggestions. : )

    https://www.themuse.com/advice/15-words-you-need-to-eliminate-from-your-vocabulary-to-sound-smarter

    15 Words You Need to Eliminate From Your Vocabulary to Sound Smarter

    By Jennie Haskamp

    Newsprint is on life support, emojis are multiplying faster than hungry Gremlins, and 300 million people worldwide strive to make their point in 140 or fewer characters.

    People don’t have the time or the attention span to read any more words than necessary. You want your readers to hear you out, understand your message, and perhaps be entertained, right? Here’s a list of words to eliminate to help you write more succinctly.



    1. That

    It’s superfluous most of the time. Open any document you’ve got drafted on your desktop, and find a sentence with that in it. Read it out loud. Now read it again without that. If the sentence works without it, delete it. Also? Don’t use that when you refer to people. “I have several friends that live in the neighborhood.” No. No, you don’t. You have friends who. Not friends that.



    2. Went

    I went to school. Or the store, or to church, or to a conference, to Vegas, wherever it is you’re inclined to go. Instead of went, consider drove, skated, walked, ran, flew. There are any number of ways to move from here to there. Pick one. Don’t be lazy and miss the chance to add to your story.



    3. Honestly

    People use honestly to add emphasis. The problem is, the minute you tell your reader this particular statement is honest, you’ve implied the rest of your words were not. #Awkward



    4. Absolutely

    Adding this word to most sentences is redundant. Something is either necessary, or it isn’t. Absolutely necessary doesn’t make it more necessary. If you recommend an essential course to your new employees, it’s essential. Coincidentally, the definition of essential is absolutely necessary. Chicken or egg, eh?



    5. Very

    Accurate adjectives don’t need qualifiers. If you need to qualify it? Replace it.
    Very is intended to magnify a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. What it does is makes your statement less specific. If you’re very happy? Be ecstatic. If you’re very sad, perhaps you’re melancholy or depressed. Woebegone, even. Very sad is a lazy way of making your point. Another pitfall of using very as a modifier? It’s subjective. Very cold and very tall mean different things to different people. Be specific. She’s 6'3" and it’s 13 degrees below freezing? These make your story better while also ensuring the reader understands the point you’re making.



    6. Really

    Unless you’re a Valley Girl, visiting from 1985, there’s no need to use really to modify an adjective. Or a verb. Or an adverb. Pick a different word to make your point. And never repeat really, or very for that matter. That’s really, really bad writing.

    If you are visiting from 1985? Please bring the birth certificate for my Cabbage Patch Doll on your next visit. Thanks.



    7. Amazing

    The word means “causing great surprise or sudden wonder.” It’s synonymous with wonderful, incredible, startling, marvelous, astonishing, astounding, remarkable, miraculous, surprising, mind-blowing, and staggering. You get the point, right? It’s everywhere. It’s in corporate slogans. It dominated the Academy Awards acceptance speeches. It’s all over social media. It’s discussed in pre-game shows and post-game shows.

    Newsflash: If everything is amazing, nothing is.



    8. Always

    Absolutes lock the writer into a position, sound conceited and close-minded, and often open the door to criticism regarding inaccuracies. Always is rarely true. Unless you’re giving written commands or instruction, find another word.



    9. Never

    See: Always.



    10. Literally

    Literally means literal. Actually happening as stated. Without exaggeration. More often than not, when the term is used, the writer means figuratively. Whatever is happening is being described metaphorically. No one actually “waits on pins and needles.” How uncomfortable would that be?



    11. Just

    It’s a filler word and it makes your sentence weaker, not stronger. Unless you’re using it as a synonym for equitable, fair, even-handed, or impartial, don’t use it at all.



    12. Maybe

    This makes you sound uninformed, unsure of the facts you’re presenting. Regardless of the topic, do the legwork, be sure, write an informed piece. The only thing you communicate when you include these words is uncertainty.



    13. Stuff

    This word is casual, generic even. It serves as a placeholder for something better. If the details of the stuff aren’t important enough to be included in the piece? Don’t reference it at all. If you tell your reader to take your course because they’ll learn a lot of stuff? They’re likely to tell you to stuff it.



    14. Things

    See: Stuff.



    15. Irregardless

    This doesn’t mean what you think it means, Jefe. It means regardless. It is literally (see what I did there?) defined as: regardless. Don’t use it. Save yourself the embarrassment.



    Whether you’re ghostwriting for your CEO, updating a blog, selling a product, or finishing your master’s thesis, you need to keep your reader engaged. These 15 words are a great place to start trimming the fat from your prose. Bonus? You’ll sound smarter
    "If I could only make the faithful sing the Kyrie, the Gloria, the Credo, the Sanctus and the Agnus Dei ... that would be to me the finest triumph sacred music could have, for it is in really taking part in the liturgy that the faithful will preserve their devotion. I would take the Tantum ...

    Offline Cera

    • Full Member
    • ***
    • Posts: 1571
    • Reputation: +574/-440
    • Gender: Female
    • Pray for the consecration of Russia to Mary's I H
    Eliminate these 15 Words to Sound Smarter
    « Reply #1 on: May 06, 2015, 02:17:53 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • Saying "kids" when we do not mean baby goats.
    Pray for the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary


    Offline Malleus

    • Jr. Member
    • **
    • Posts: 316
    • Reputation: +0/-1
    Eliminate these 15 Words to Sound Smarter
    « Reply #2 on: May 06, 2015, 03:00:55 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • Interesting "like" isn't in the list.

    Offline TKGS

    • Hero Member
    • *****
    • Posts: 4553
    • Reputation: +3909/-365
    • Gender: Male
    Eliminate these 15 Words to Sound Smarter
    « Reply #3 on: May 06, 2015, 03:17:56 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • Quote from: Jennie Haskamp
    14. Things


    I find this amusing.  The liberal's hero:

    Quote from: JFK, Rice University, 12 September 1962
    We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard...


    They all say he was really smart.  I agree.  He was smart, not a good Catholic, but he was smart.

    Offline Marlelar

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    • Posts: 3475
    • Reputation: +1811/-231
    • Gender: Female
    Eliminate these 15 Words to Sound Smarter
    « Reply #4 on: May 07, 2015, 02:53:09 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  •  :sign-surrender: :fryingpan: :laugh2:

    Irregardless of the stuff that went really, really wrong, I absolutely and honestly, love my very amazing kids who just happen to always do the most amazing things and literally never, well maybe never, do anything very annoying like eating all the nice cookies.

     :jumping2:  Yeah!  I managed to use them all !  :jumping2:

    (nice is my pet peeve word)

    Anyone else?



    Offline Capt McQuigg

    • Hero Member
    • *****
    • Posts: 4666
    • Reputation: +2620/-9
    • Gender: Male
    Eliminate these 15 Words to Sound Smarter
    « Reply #5 on: May 07, 2015, 04:21:40 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • I think the word "ridiculous" is overused, especially by women.  

    Offline Nadir

    • Hero Member
    • *****
    • Posts: 6070
    • Reputation: +3326/-196
    • Gender: Female
    Eliminate these 15 Words to Sound Smarter
    « Reply #6 on: May 07, 2015, 05:36:31 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0

  • I've bookmarked this thread for future reference. See ya later!

    Offline ihsv

    • Full Member
    • ***
    • Posts: 680
    • Reputation: +914/-116
    • Gender: Male
    Eliminate these 15 Words to Sound Smarter
    « Reply #7 on: May 07, 2015, 05:57:29 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • How about:  "um," "I mean", and "You know"?
    Confiteor unum baptisma in remissionem peccatorum. - Nicene Creed


    Offline Nadir

    • Hero Member
    • *****
    • Posts: 6070
    • Reputation: +3326/-196
    • Gender: Female
    Eliminate these 15 Words to Sound Smarter
    « Reply #8 on: May 07, 2015, 05:59:34 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • Anyways: there is no such word, (I should say it's north American dialect and therefore not for literary use) but it is used often on CathInfo.

    Note: any is singular; ways is plural.

    Offline Nadir

    • Hero Member
    • *****
    • Posts: 6070
    • Reputation: +3326/-196
    • Gender: Female
    Eliminate these 15 Words to Sound Smarter
    « Reply #9 on: May 07, 2015, 09:59:07 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • I've noticed the word "apart" being misused as in the sentence from another thread
    "Minor seminaries have been apart of the Church’s formation for the priesthood for centuries"

    What this member means is that "Minor seminaries have been A PART (noun) of the Church’s formation for the priesthood for centuries"

    Apart (adverb) has a different meaning, as in "He stood apart from the group"    

    Offline Cantarella

    • Hero Member
    • *****
    • Posts: 7782
    • Reputation: +4568/-575
    • Gender: Female
    Eliminate these 15 Words to Sound Smarter
    « Reply #10 on: May 07, 2015, 11:39:44 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • Quote from: Cera
    Saying "kids" when we do not mean baby goats.


    True. The proper word for people of young age is "children", not kids. That is  a novelty born in the 60's.

    Please Say Children, Not Kids

    http://www.traditioninaction.org/Cultural/C023cpKids.htm
    If anyone says that true and natural water is not necessary for baptism and thus twists into some metaphor the words of our Lord Jesus Christ" Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit" (Jn 3:5) let him be anathema.


    Offline Cantarella

    • Hero Member
    • *****
    • Posts: 7782
    • Reputation: +4568/-575
    • Gender: Female
    Eliminate these 15 Words to Sound Smarter
    « Reply #11 on: May 07, 2015, 11:44:38 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • Here is another good article on the importance of proper language in the restoration of Catholic civilization:

    'Language Is the Dress of Thought' -
     Vulgarity: The Style of Our Days


    http://www.traditioninaction.org/Cultural/C010cpLanguage.htm
    If anyone says that true and natural water is not necessary for baptism and thus twists into some metaphor the words of our Lord Jesus Christ" Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit" (Jn 3:5) let him be anathema.

    Offline Nadir

    • Hero Member
    • *****
    • Posts: 6070
    • Reputation: +3326/-196
    • Gender: Female
    Eliminate these 15 Words to Sound Smarter
    « Reply #12 on: May 08, 2015, 01:18:38 AM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0

  • The word "get/got" is often used both superfluously and  incorrectly. Got means acquired but sometimes is wrongly replacing "was" or "became".  


    Offline clare

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    • Posts: 2269
    • Reputation: +887/-34
    • Gender: Female
      • h
    Eliminate these 15 Words to Sound Smarter
    « Reply #13 on: May 08, 2015, 01:42:50 AM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • Quote
    13. Stuff

    This word is casual, generic even. It serves as a placeholder for something better. If the details of the stuff aren’t important enough to be included in the piece? Don’t reference it at all. If you tell your reader to take your course because they’ll learn a lot of stuff? They’re likely to tell you to stuff it.

    "We are such stuff as dreams are made on..." - Shakespeare

    I had thought that "stuff" was a casual sounding word, but I've seen it crop up in fairly respectable books, so I don't think it always has been.

    Offline Nadir

    • Hero Member
    • *****
    • Posts: 6070
    • Reputation: +3326/-196
    • Gender: Female
    Eliminate these 15 Words to Sound Smarter
    « Reply #14 on: May 08, 2015, 02:12:30 AM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • Like all words in our language it has an appropriate use.

    Stuff is a material used to make something.

    Or we can stuff a cushion, but we should never stuff ourselves.

     

    Sitemap 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16