Filler words? How do I explain them? Um..err…I mean…like…actually….
We use them all the time when we’re speaking casually. However, if we want to make our writing crisp and concise, we must cut out words that add unnecessary emphasis and wordiness.
Today I’m going to share with you 10 killer filler words/phrases to avoid:
- JUST: This rarely adds meaning to a sentence, unless you are Nike! Just don’t do it! 😉
- VERY: No one says it better than Mark Twain: Substitute “damn” every time you’re inclined to write “very”; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.
- REALLY: Used when speaking to add emphasis, this rarely translates into written content. Do you
reallyneed to use it? No.
- LITERALLY: A word that should be banned. It’s most often used incorrectly or needlessly. For example, ‘I was literally crying.’ Doesn’t that mean the same as ‘I was crying.’?
- QUITE: Another word that usually adds to the length of the sentence and not to the meaning. For example, ‘He had quite a few drinks that evening.’ could be re-written to read, ‘He had four beers that evening.’ Clearer?
- PERHAPS: I’m guilty of using this one. It communicates uncertainty and could be done away with.
- IN ORDER: A redundant filler. For example, ‘She went to the shop
in orderto buy a present.’
- ACTUALLY: Can you
actuallytell me why we need to use this word?
- RATHER: This is the same as ‘quite’.
- STUFF: Too vague. It often stands for something else. Be specific.
A free write, at least 500 words long. Make sure you don’t use any of the filler words mentioned above.