Just Some Unpowerful Stuff

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Ten Words to Cut From Your Writing is an article written by Shanna Mallon which I read on entrepreneur.com.  My life may never be the same.

Here are the offensive little beggars. You might want to jot them down one last time.

– just, really, very, perhaps, maybe, quite, a bit, completely, almost, amazing, literally, stuff, things and got.

The list is longer than ten because some of the words are redundant and grouped together.  Read the article and I promise it will all come clear.   Using them, and words like them, makes your writing weak.  Avoiding them makes your writing tight and powerful and strong.

My first thought was, oh really?  Got?  But I can describe my entire day using the word ‘got’.  Have you got a minute?  I got up, got dressed, got breakfast, got in my car, got to work, got bored, got through it, got home, got hungry, got tired, got to sleep by ten.  Do you suppose she’s got a point?

My second thought was perhaps that’s maybe a bit harsh, though.  Or you might even say almost completely upsetting and discouraging.   I mean that literally.   Especially for those of us who’ve got things to say that are just quite amazing.   You know the kind of stuff I mean.  Very good stuff.  Quite amazing really maybe very good things.


My third thought (I know, amazing, three thoughts in one day) was that if I cut out all those words from this blog (or just this post)  half of my written work would disappear.  I’m not saying that’s a bad thing,  nevertheless I would not like to see that happen.  Because it was quite a bit of work.  And then I realized I use the word ‘that’ too much as well.

So I won’t do that.

Honestly I really don’t feel like taking this advice to heart even though I suspect it’s good and amazing stuff.  I believe powerful and strong is for cleaning products and body builders and electrical storms.  And of course strong and serious people with something brilliant to say.  I’m rarely serious.  So I’m excusing myself from paying attention to this list.

Although perhaps not completely.  I will maybe try really very hard to cut down on the use of these offensive little words.  Quite likely tomorrow.  Or one of these amazing days.

22 thoughts on “Just Some Unpowerful Stuff

    • I suppose I write the way I speak (how scary is that??) and often write simply because I feel chatty. So I chat. And then I’m generally surprised when someone listens. So thanks for listening. 🙂


  1. I am guilty of using those words. =/ Maybe (haha) I should write them onto a post it and stick them to my screen to be more mindful.


  2. Amazing post! Just really very interesting! Maybe quite a bit of stuff in here to remember, but literally almost one of the most intriguing posts I have gotten to read in quite a while! Agree with you though….if I eliminated all these I would be reduced to about a sentence!


  3. Clever clever clever 🙂
    Thanks for the chuckle.
    I’m going to cut&paste that list to the new blog post I’m working on and see how much I’ve used them. Amazing is in the title but since it’s about the Amazon it’s appropriate right? 🙂


    • If the Amazon isn’t amazing, I don’t know what is. And I know that without ever having been there, which is pretty amazing too. Or perhaps there’s a better word for that…. Can’t wait to hear all about it. xo. 🙂


  4. Oh my, if I cut all these words out of my writing, I think I would be left with a blank page! LOL, I did write them down, just in case you know. I will see what happens in my next story. 🙂


    • In all seriousness I do want to be more aware of how lazy I tend to be using easy and repetitive words. Falling just short of sounding like a pompous ass, of course. I think I’ve blown it already 🙂


      • I edited many reports, memos, etc. as a government worker and in my private sector job with a large corporation. The word used today is redaction. My linguist and English teacher daughter says got is perfectly acceptable so I will defend that word. Language pros get it wrong too. Remember split infinitives? They don’t exist in English. That notion was a hotly-touts idea passed on by aristos who studied Latin.


  5. Perhaps, I think, I’ve got it right;
    It’s really quite a bit,
    Just almost, maybe,quite completely,
    Very close to it:

    The most amazing things I’ve written;
    Literally best;
    The stuff I’ve got the most pride doing;
    Better than the rest;

    And all I had to do was stop,
    With using any WORDS,
    Who knew that writing was so easy?
    (The truth? It’s for the birds.)


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