Words to Avoid

Copywriter Tips for Strengthening Your Writing

Copywriter Tips for Strengthening Your Writing

I have hired dozens of freelance writers in my role as an in-house copywriter for a content conversion firm, and it never ceases to amaze me how many writers lack basic writing skills. Whether you’ve been a freelance writer for two months or ten years, there are always ways to improve your craft. Here are some specifics things writers can do to strengthen their writing: Use “is” Sparingly The most valuable lesson I took away from my upper graduate English coursework involves use of the word “is.” Here’s how it goes: if you can rework a sentence to remove use [Read more…]

Common Crutch Words. What’s Yours?

Common Crutch Words. What's Yours?

This morning, I just read – again – an old article published by The Atlantic Wire. Titled “A Literal Epidemic of Crutch Words“, the article highlights words and phrases that we tend to use loosely, both in formal and informal conversation. Going through the list, I couldn’t help but think that writers are not exempt from leaning on crutch words and phrases. Here are some of the phrases/words that I see often – and might have a beef with. Exponentially. “How could you leave out exponentially, a crutch word that might be used accurately once in a thousand times? Something grows exponentially when [Read more…]

The Worst Words of 2012 – What to Avoid in 2013

The Worst Words of 2012 - What to Avoid in 2013

I was planning to work on this entry earlier this month, but as you know, the Universe and I weren’t exactly on the same page. Still, all’s well that ends well, and I hope I am not incorrect in thinking that it’s not too late to take a look at some of the worst words of 2012. Not only can it be fun, it might also come in handy as we continue churning out our pieces this year. Usually, at the end/beginning of each year, I like taking a look at Lake Superior State University’s list of banished words. What [Read more…]

Eschewing the Exotic for the Quotidian

Eschewing the Exotic for the Quotidian

I like experiencing strange, new things. Not too new and too strange, mind you. I am not that adventurous, but I have found that new experiences almost always brings positive results. When it comes to words, I also like learning new words and using them whenever possible, as naturally as possible. I do not know what you think about using new and uncommon words as often as you can, but I honestly would not be surprised if we share the same sentiment. I have to admit, that sometimes, I do have the propensity to choose words that may not be [Read more…]

Lake Superior State University’s Lists of Banished Words and Phrases


We all have our pet peeves, and for writers, this is especially true when it comes to word usage.  I am sure that all of you will be able to come up with your own list of banished words and phrases, but I wonder how your list will compare to what Lake Superior State University has come up for 2010 and 2011? Last week, the Internet was abuzz with talk about the newly released 35th Annual List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness. It seems that my year has been starting out slowly, [Read more…]

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