Six words to avoid

Six Words to Avoid Overusing

Ricardo Castano IV
July 18, 2018

When you sit down to write content for your website or a client, sometimes you just run out of things to say. Or, you may find yourself running too far afoul of clichés and language that ends up diluting your point by bringing in words and phrases that everyone is tired of hearing.

So today, we want to share with you some examples of words that lead to articles you’d be better off sending to the chopping block in the first draft.

Section 1: Omit Buzz Words

Innovation

Alright, we understand that this is essentially the de facto buzzword of the 2010s. However, it’s so frequently used that it feels co-opted by soulless start-ups and old, entrenched companies that want to sound with the times. There’s no real reason to say something is innovative or an innovation when you can just explain why it is more directly.

Synergy

If “innovation” was a word for the 2010s, synergy was one for the 90s and 2000s that has never really left; the granddad of all buzzwords given a stigma by lazy marketing. The word is vague and unhelpful—saying something promotes synergy doesn’t actually tell you what it does to increase efficiency or productivity or whatever it’s supposed to make better. Being direct and showing the results of whatever’s supposed to be synergistic will be far more impactful to your reader than one lazy word.

Holistic

First off, we understand that this is supposed to refer to an approach that considers all interconnected parts of a whole, i.e. holistic medicine. However, we all know the reputation of holistic medicine, and it seems that others have been brought to the same conclusion over the years its been in the business lexicon—sometimes the problem is truly the only thing that’s wrong, folks.

Section 2: Omit Needless Words

Literally

Unless you are using this in the exact literal sense, do not use it. Even then, maybe avoid it. Everyone has it out for this adverb right now—first, because it’s an adverb and Stephen King does not approve, but second and most importantly, many people have a negative connotation due to its frequent misuse in the past (and present).

Possibly

This is a weak word for anyone who wants to prove a point. Saying something possibly will happen is far less confident and assured that saying something will happen. Have confidence in your words and so will your readers.

Went

Here’s another weak word, especially for those cases where you want to express progress from one point to another. Travel is the best example: saying someone went some place is far less interesting than saying someone flew, drove, ran, or skipped to their destination.

And, this is just a taste of some of the lists that are out there, with varying amounts of editorial sway. We’ve read them all, have our own opinions, and we can do better. You deserve a team that can do better for you.

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