Five Weak Words that Make Your Writing Less Effective
Here are five lazy words that make your writing weaker and how to fix them:
Stuff is a lazy word. Only use it sparingly when you’re intentionally trying to be informal.
Instead, use a more descriptive noun.
Things is another lazy word. People often overuse it. While not always inappropriate, it also should be used on rare occasions.
Things is nondescript and can often be replaced with much better nouns, such as “reasons” or “elements” or “issues” and so on…
Got is a terrible verb. It means “obtaining something” or can also be used as a helping verb like have. More often than not, got can usually go away.
Instead of saying “I got up”, say “I woke up.”
Instead of saying, “I got a baseball”, say, “I have a baseball” or “I found a baseball.”
Not only is got a lazy word; it is also vague. In the last sentence does “got” mean “found” or “have”?
Often people will say something like, “I was there” or “We were at the party.”
In these cases, the writers are using different versions of the verb to be when they could be employing better action words.
For example, you could instead say, “I stood silently in the kitchen” or “My wife and I arrived late to the party.”
Went is like are. There are a hundred other verbs that you could exchange for went.
Instead of saying, “I went to the store,” you could say, “I walked to the store” or, “I drove my car to buy some groceries at the store.”
Went is a lame word — vague, boring, lackluster.
As are am, got, stuff, and things. Here are a few more words and phrases to use sparingly: