I love words, and I have an aversion to certain words. I want to say things directly, with no humming and hawing. I want adjectives to stand on their own. Take “happy” for instance. I see no value in throwing an adverb in front to water down the meaning. “Somewhat happy” just doesn’t do it for me. I’m on a mission to rid myself of “extra” words – ones that don’t add to the value of the statement. In fact they detract.
I was watching tennis this afternoon. The two players were making lots of mistakes. The announcer chimed in with “It’s been a little bit of a messy game.” I say just stick with “It’s been a messy game” (which is minus four words). More impact. In fact, “They’re both making lots of mistakes” sounds even better. Or how about “When the pressure was on, with the match hanging in the balance, she double faulted”? (For each point, a player has two chances to serve the ball into the service box. If you miss them both, it’s a “double fault”.)
Here’s my personal list of no-no’s:
2. a bit
6. kind of
7. pretty … as in “pretty good”
8. a little
And there’s lots of time for this list to grow! For me, I’m going to cut to the chase, say it like a bang not a whimper, call a spade a spade. When I do that, I stand taller. Good for me.