Words you should excise from your writing in 2018

While many are making plans and resolutions for the new year, here are some trite phrases communicators should vow to avoid in the coming year and beyond.

You can count on two things in January: plenty of articles, news stories, and posts listing popular New Year’s resolutions and plenty of articles, news stories, and posts listing all the reasons people fail at keeping their New Year’s resolutions.

This can all lead one to surmise that New Year’s resolutions are a waste of time, but that would be folly.

It’s always worthwhile to sharpen your writing and editing skills, as many PR Daily readers will agree. If one of your goals for 2018 is to improve your writing, consider excising unnecessary words and phrases from your work.

Here are four groups of phrases that unnecessarily clog your writing:

1. Words so overused they’ve lost all meaning

  • Bleeding edge
  • Core competencies
  • Cutting edge
  • Deep dive
  • Game changer
  • Leading edge
  • Natural
  • Revolutionary
  • Synergy
  • Unique

2. Verbs that indicate laziness (and jargon)

  • Ameliorate
  • Disseminate
  • Dialogue (when used as a verb)
  • Endeavor
  • Impact
  • Implement
  • Leverage
  • Modify
  • Onboard
  • Utilize

3. Contrived words

  • Actionable
  • Bandwidth
  • Cascade
  • Cognizant
  • Optimize
  • Pivot
  • Promulgate
  • Tremendous
  • Silo
  • Vector
  • Verdant

4. “Crutch” words and filler phrases

  • As a matter of fact
  • As you may already know
  • At the present time
  • Basically
  • Because of the fact that
  • For all intents and purposes
  • For the purpose of
  • Generally
  • Given the fact that
  • In case you haven’t heard
  • In light of the fact that
  • In my opinion
  • In the event that
  • It has come to my attention
  • It is believed by many that
  • It is interesting to note that
  • Needless to say
  • Please be advised that
  • That said

What do you think, Ragan/PR Daily readers? Do you have any words or phrases to share?

Laura Hale Brockway is an Austin-based writer and editor and a regular contributor to PR Daily. Read more of her work at impertinentremarks.com.

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