WORDS CAN WEAKEN SENTENCES AND THOUGHTS
Do you publish a newsletter, have a website, or write articles or reviews or a blog? If so, you’re already doing your best to publish well. But if you aren’t certain that you’re succeeding, here are a few ideas that might help.
Try to keep your sentences crisp and clear. Tight. Many words and phrases are very, very unnecessary. Really. In fact, sometimes words and phrases weaken sentences.
Examples of words to avoid when you’re trying to write with strength: frankly, actually, honestly, truthfully, really, quite, so, very, somewhat, seems, utterly, practically, basically, and rather.
Sometimes we’re tempted to use weak or unnecessary words and phrases in an effort to sound friendly or informal. And sometimes it’s okay to do that. It depends on the audience.
Here are a few phrases worth omitting (most of the time): “I think,” “kind of,” “sort of,” “I believe” “in my opinion,” “needless to say,” and “no doubt.”
Look at the above phrases. What value do they have? They’re often useless fillers, and using them (in writing or speaking) can be a form of procrastination. Get to the issues!
Having said that words weaken, there are times when you must use diplomacy, and you may need to use words like “seems,” “appears,” and “somewhat.” Again, it depends on the context. (Some businesses may say, “It appears that there is an error in your accounting records” rather than “Pay your bill, you deadbeat!” or “We’ve discovered some discrepancies in our books,” rather than “Get ready for a visit with a grand jury.”)