Top 6 Weasel Words

Read an article this week on “Weasel Words“– or filler words that you overuse and don’t contribute to the writing.  It made me annoyed with myself as I realized some of mine.  And there are probably more that I haven’t even realized.  Which annoys me more.

My Top 6 Weasel Words:

  1. Just
  2. Very
  3. Said (like when writing dialogue.  Everyone says.  Couldn’t I use reply or informed or respond or declared or proclaimed?!)
  4. Great (when writing an article– “check out this great new website” or “a great way to stay informed”)
  5. Smirk
  6. Any adverbs (I agree with Stephen King when he says that the road to hell is paved with adverbs.  Sometimes I can’t find a way around them.)

I had to delete 3 “just”s from this post.  I really use that word too much.

What is on your list?

3 thoughts on “Top 6 Weasel Words

  1. Ha ha, it seems like your list is “very” similar to mine. 😉 I actually don’t think “said” is that big of a problem. 90% of your dialogue tags actually should be “said” or “say.” Trying to vary it too much, or using tags like “squawked” or “interrogated,” can take your reader out of the flow. Glad that you liked the post! 🙂

  2. I have bookmarked. I’ve found my characters “sigh” a lot. I also sometimes get adverb-heavy. It’s good to be aware of our quirks so we can challenge ourselves to find new ways to describe things. When I go back and reread what I’ve written, it’s good to read out loud, because you can FEEL when you’ve used the wrong word. I don’t allow myself to use the same descriptor twice in one paragraph.

  3. Don’t be so hard on yourself, maybe you should change in seeing these “weasel words” as in like spicy words or something. Try to use more to define your writing style and less as cumbersome extra words

What do you think?