Posted by: episystechpubs | May 7, 2015

Editor’s Corner: Stuff ‘n’ Thangs

Here is the last five of the “15 Words You Need to Eliminate from Your Vocabulary to Sound Smarter,” by Jennie Haskamp. As many of you have noted, some of these apply more to creative writing than business writing. Still, they’re worth a look even if you aren’t writing the next Moby Dick or Great Gatsby.

· Just

It’s a filler word and it makes your sentence weaker, not stronger. Unless you’re using it as a synonym for equitable, fair, even-handed, or impartial, don’t use it at all.

· Maybe

This makes you sound uninformed, unsure of the facts you’re presenting. Regardless of the topic, do the legwork, be sure, write an informed piece. The only thing you communicate when you include this word is uncertainty.

· Stuff

This word is casual, generic even. It serves as a placeholder for something better. If the details of the stuff aren’t important enough to be included in the piece? Don’t reference it at all. If you tell your reader to take your course because they’ll learn a lot of stuff? They’re likely to tell you to stuff it.

· Things

See: Stuff.

[KC – I guess the store in my neighborhood that calls itself “Stuff ‘n’ Thangs” may as well just give up.]

· Irregardless

This doesn’t mean what you think it means, Jefe. It means regardless. It is literally (see what I did there?) defined as: regardless. Don’t use it. Save yourself the embarrassment.

And just for fun…

There’s a slight metallic taste to this dish…

Thank you, Phil, for making my day yesterday with these photos!

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

Symitar Documentation Services

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