When I first began writing, grammar was such a pain. I suddenly had to indicate pauses, separate clauses and express myself in a way that would enable people to actually ‘hear’ what I was putting on paper. For any writer, perfecting grammar is a top priority. The only problem with this is: It’s a continuous learning process. You will never have your comma’s in all the right places, from time to time you will miss a capital in between pronouns and nouns, maybe even horribly misplace quotation marks here and there. It does get easier, though.
Instead of looking at it, as this horrific process, start making music with your words, eliminating the unnecessary, finding simpler ways of saying things and try not to exaggerate your point with flamboyant ‘nothings’. I am going to assist you in this my language comrades. Let’s start by eliminating those lazy, weak, violating words. Pity your readers.When you write horribly, they ready horrifically.
“The act of reading is a partnership. The author builds the house, the reader makes it a home”.
Six words you should eliminate in your writing.
- “Let’ start with the easy stuff”.
- “There are some things..”
As the writer, you may have a clear understanding of what ‘stuff’ and ‘things’ refers to in this context. However, the reader may not. What stuff are you speaking about? Which things?. These words are vague and confusing. There is too much valuable information you are withholding from the reader, who is curious to know.
- “We are very interested in the course”.
- “You are very attractive”
The word ‘very’ is basically useless. Its aim is to emphasise, but quite frankly it does none of this. It is commonly used when you are lazy, in need of totalling a word count or to occupy space. This is not cool people. Avoid using ‘very’ like the plague.
Instead use: extremely, exceptionally, exceedingly, immensely, especially, tremendously.
Why settle for very?
- “I really really enjoyed the show tonight”.
- “I really love my dogs”.
Just like the word ‘very’ fails to emphasise, ‘really’ isn’t that far off. What importance does this convey? Most of the time we write the way we speak and this is why we make use of ‘really’ so often. The word really does not intensify anything. If you have to use this word, do so sparingly, please.
Instead use: certainly, as a matter of fact, actually, easily , genuinely, admittedly, etc.
- I believe/I think/I feel
- ‘I think what the writer is actually saying…’
- ‘I believe it to be true’.
- ‘I feel we should go ahead with…’
These three words bore the reader. It has nothing special to say unless you are explaining what you think, what you feel, or what you believe. It sounds like a cheap replacement for words you cannot seem to find and does not assure your reader that you know what you are doing. What you are basically saying when you use these words is :
“Hi! I am the author of this article and I like being judged because I like speaking about my opinions and feelings. You have to put your trust in what I believe as a matter of fact”.
- “I got you a gift”
- “I got some Mcdonalds on my way home”.
OMG! This is an absolutely overwhelming verb. It means ‘to obtain something’, in my case it means to obtain the stomach flu. ‘Got’ can and will always be irreplaceable. It is understood to be a helping verb, but it fails and sounds like it was discovered by an archeologist in the Karroo. Leave ‘got’ alone, please.
Get it write 🙂