I’m compiling a list of words and phrases that may be considered weak, fatty, passive, cliché, or redundant. Of course, writers can’t always eliminate these words. We use our own discretion, but often when I find these weak words, I find my weakest sentences and will spend quite some time revising and rebuilding that text. It isn’t just a matter of using the delete key.
Here are my top favorite seek-and-destroy words and phrases:
- there was/there were (my biggest offenders when it comes to passive voice)
- filter worlds like those related to: hear, see, smell, taste, touch
There are other kinds of words that I try to weed out in general as well. I love adverbs and will still use them though often I know a sentence is much stronger without the extra descriptor. Trading “ing” verbs for “ed” verbs makes for yet another long slog through a manuscript with the search box, but the result is worth it.
Help me out my listing some of the words and phrases you love to hate below (with the exception of fowl language please). I can’t wait to hear your pet peeves!
Michelle Joyce Bond