I’m as guilty as anyone of word overuse. Luckily, features such as control-F (find) exist. Make it a point to double and triple check your overuse of fluff words. While some words might be essential in specific contexts, most become fluff, clutter your speech, and become tedious for the reader.
Tighten your prose by limiting the use of:
· That – That is an unnecessary word we use too often in speaking and writing. Until I did a “that” word check, I hadn’t realized how often it snuck into my writing.
· Just – Same goes for the word “just.” I once ran a “just” check use in a fifty thousand word document I’d written and discovered I’d used it three-hundred times too many. Just way too much use of the word. See?
· Really – Grammarly was kind enough to point out my overuse of this fluffer word.
· Suddenly – This word doesn’t add the immediacy you want to convey or any value to your writing.
· And – There’s a famous romance author who uses the word “and” in almost every paragraph she writes Reading her books is enough to drive you to perpetual madness. How she gets away with it is anyone’s guess, but she does. I find using “and” too often makes it a boring read.
I’ll add to the list as I discover more fluff words I overuse as they come to my attention.
Find overused words in your manuscript by simultaneously pressing the Ctrl and the F key. In the search box on the “Navigation” panel left of your screen type the word, you’d like to search. Click “Results,” and voila, a list of sentences containing the searched word will appear.
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