Somewhat Useless

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:

1.  somewhat
2.  a bit
3.  slightly
4.  quite
5.  relatively
6.  kind of
7.  pretty … as in “pretty good”
8.  a little
9.  just
10.  generally

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.

Indirect Speech Interpreted

He was sort of saying …
He was trying to say …
He was saying …

There’s been a uptick in cases
There’s been a surge in cases

They maybe opened a little bit early
They opened too early

I’m not a big proponent of …
I don’t like …

She seems to do …
She does …

I tend to disagree
I might not agree
I disagree

I’m inclined to agree
It seems somewhat reasonable to me
I agree

I would hate to say anything about … that would be perceived as negative
I’m critical of …

He’s almost sending a message
He’s sending a message

It doesn’t seem that it’s happening
It’s not happening

(In response to a yes/no question)
Not exactly
I don’t think so
I’m going to say probably not
No
I think so
Most likely
If you look at all the factors here, you see that an analysis is difficult
Yes

I wasn’t entirely sure what he meant
I didn’t understand what he meant

She should have, I think
She should have

His words, frankly, seemed out of touch with reality
His words were out of touch with reality

We have come to a stage where we cannot help but consider things including postponement
We’re thinking about postponing

In the coming weeks
Seven to ten weeks from now

I think it’s fair to say that there will be an impact
There will be an impact

It’s fatal
People will die