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Words that should be banned from good writing

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Banning is too strong a term. I'd say used sparingly, and with great caution. It also makes a difference whether it's narration or dialogue. I could make an argument for someone to say "Ah...they're a cute couple" just before throwing up :smile:

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My pet dislikes:

...would of...instead of would've (contraction of, would have. Also applies to should've, could've).

Misuse of quiet, quit and quite.

The authoritarian use, with disregard of facts, of "You know that is true (or untrue)", often used as an argument in debate. (It's a logical fallacy). This is now so common it can be heard not just in debates, but in movies and TV series as well. It makes me shake my tree.

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Padding. Most people walk.

Padding has to do with walking without shoes - barefoot or in socks was my thought. Apparently it's defined as:

(intransitive; often foll by along, up, etc) to walk with a soft or muffled tread
And Merkin I agree and plead guilty.
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The eyes are the windows to the soul. Of course you can read expressions and feelings in them. However, if we're talking about writing, then the way the phrase is worded is as important as the actual individual words. So, if it's written tritely or awkwardly, or called upon too often, then I agree with James. But as people use their eyes all the time to help express themselves, and as we look at people's eyes and expressions to better understand them, I don't think we can do away with that entirely. Nor can we omit body language.

C

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PROLLY!

Screws me right into the ceiling. Probably too tough to remember how to spell it. To me that means stop reading, this is not going to be an intelligent read of any sort.

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In general terms, the word 'that' is perhaps the most overused in the English language. Saying 'that' can make it look like you are preaching and cuts the friendliness coeficient (made up term) quite a lot.

So, at the editing stage, do a search for 'that', and if you can cut the word out without altering the meaning, do it. The result is much nicer. I was taught this for letter writing, but it does have exactly the same effect in stories or magazine articles.

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I'd just waved goodbye to the 'cutest couple' after their brief visit. After making my 'ablutions' I eagerly 'padded' into the room where I keep the computer. I knew I'd made a 'huge' mistake because I went straight to AD forums to give it the 'glad eye'. You all 'know its true' that you 'prolly' do just the same.

I checked who was there and found it to be fairly 'quite'. I daresay you'd have been able to read the 'disappointment in my eyes' but I had a look at the postings anyway. Nothing too exciting tonight except for James' 'stink eye' which made me giggle 'hugely'.

All this is 'my bad' I 'spose' but then...so what?

Rick

Luv it Rick.

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In general terms, the word 'that' is perhaps the most overused in the English language. Saying 'that' can make it look like you are preaching and cuts the friendliness coeficient (made up term) quite a lot.

So, at the editing stage, do a search for 'that', and if you can cut the word out without altering the meaning, do it. The result is much nicer. I was taught this for letter writing, but it does have exactly the same effect in stories or magazine articles.

I'd like some examples of what you mean, Nick. When I edit, I frequently add the word 'that' because it so often will clarify what is being said; many a sentence can be ambiguous without the help of a assisting 'that'. Certainly it can be overused, but it can be underused as well.

C

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I'd like some examples of what you mean, Nick. When I edit, I frequently add the word 'that' because it so often will clarify what is being said; many a sentence can be ambiguous without the help of a assisting 'that'. Certainly it can be overused, but it can be underused as well.

C

That's a bit difficult as all my published writings have the word 'that' stripped out and going back, I can't see where they might have been.

So, I'll have to use something of mine not yet published/finished that I can spot the issue in.

“Quiet!” The teacher faced the class of unruly eleven year olds, and when they were still, in a softer voice “thank-you”.

“My name is Mr Jones and I’m both your form and mathematics teacher”. He then looked at one boy who was looking uncomprehendingly at him and signed, My name is Mr Jones and I’m both your form and mathematics teacher. The boy smiled and the rest of the class were completely perplexed.

“Ok class, explanation. I speak English, French, and sign in British Sign Language too. You may have noticed your class-mate, Alex Fletcher is deaf. He is supposed to have a support worker, Mrs Carstairs to translate for him. She rang the office this morning that she and has urgent family business to attend to, so you’ll have to put up with this and this morning’s Maths lesson being signed by me. Any complaints and I’ll carry on the lesson in French”. At this he smiled letting them know that although it was a threat, it was not a terribly serious one. A quick flurry of signing followed to let Alex know what he’d just said.

The first instance I've added and one does need to adjust things as without 'that she', it needs 'and'. However, the second case is ideal as taking this from an early draft, the work 'that' is not only present, it can be omitted. Arguably one needs to add an extra comma so that one gets bracketing commas but I'm not going to worry at this stage.

If I ever finish the story, you'll find why Mr Jones is one of the very few hearing people proficient in BSL...

PS I'm well aware I started this post with the naughty word, the devil sat on my shoulder dared me to.

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