Monday, April 3, 2017

C is for Cut as in Cut These Five Words for Tighter, Clearer Writing

Google may be biased toward longer articles but fluff still doesn’t sell.  In the day of quick digital everything, for readers to keep reading they need to perceive they are getting value with every word.  This means writing as short as possible while still providing a complete presentation of the topic you are covering.  Dropping words that may be grammatically correct but provide no change to the meaning of the sentence is one way to make sure your writing is more to the point.  Cut the following words for writing that has more impact and readers will be more likely to read through.
  1. ·         That - The word “that” is frequently not necessary to the meaning of a sentence. What’s the difference between “Thanks for the gift you got me” and “Thanks for the gift that you got me,” for example?
  2. ·         Honestly – If you begin a sentence with honestly what does that make all the other sentences? 
  3. ·         Totally, Completely, Absolutely – Okay, so this is actually three words but they fail to add meaning in a similar way.  If you refer to a glass being full of water, do you need to say it is totally, completely or absolutely full?  Full is full.
  4. ·         Definitely, Certainly, Probably, Actually, Basically, Virtually – (I know, I know.)  If you say something is definitely, certainly, or actually true, does that mean if you just say it’s true it may not be?  True that is.  If something is probably true it may or may not be so this isn’t likely helpful.  Something that is virtually true is only almost true meaning it’s still false.  If something is basically true does that mean that parts of it aren’t or that it won’t be true if it becomes more complex?
  5. ·         Rather, Quite – Does it matter if a book is dull, rather dull or quite dull?  You’ll stop reading regardless.

Stop by tomorrow to see what my “D” blog post will be. 

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