What do I mean by wobbly words?
Well, words that are vague, indefinite, and don’t add much. In fact, they can clutter your sentences and take away from the clarity you’re striving to create.
Here are five examples of wobbly words. Whack them from your writing whenever you can:
- really “I really think it’s time to go.” (extraneous)
- some “We rely on some long-standing methods.” (be specific and say a number)
- very “Get ready to do a very good job.” (overused; be more descriptive!)
- that “Find information that you can apply easily.” (unneeded 9 times out of 10)
- much “Jobs posted on the Internet reach a much larger audience than those in newspaper ads.” (doesn’t add value)
In their classic guide The Elements of Style, Strunk and White call word clutter “the leeches that infest the pond of prose, sucking the blood out of words.” Amen!
(Featured in my Wordshop STRENGTHENING Everything You Write. Details about the upcoming session in Tucson here.)