Ten words to cut from your writing
by Shanna Mallon

As Mark Twain famously wrote, “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”

His point? Strong writing is lean writing. When you want to make your writing more powerful, cut out words you don’t need – such as the 10 included in this post:

1. Just: The word “just” is a filler word that weakens your writing. Removing it rarely affects meaning, but rather, the deletion tightens a sentence.

2. Really: Using the word “really” is an example of writing the way you talk. It’s a verbal emphasis that doesn’t translate perfectly into text. In conversation, people use the word frequently, but in written content it’s unnecessary. Think about the difference between saying a rock is “hard” and “really hard,” for example. What does the word add? Better to cut it out to make your message stronger.

3. Very: Everything that applies to “really” applies to “very.” It’s a weak word. Cut it. Continue reading