Simplify Your Writing – Avoid These 44 Overused Words & Phrases


Writing simply and clearly is essential in business, or any, writing. We write sentences to convey messages. If we want to communicate, we need to keep them short. We should avoid verbiage by using mostly verbs and nouns and by not using empty phrases and meaningless words like those in the Infographic.

Avoid using words to fill up space. Modifiers, qualifiers, and intensifiers (very, almost, nearly, quite) add nothing to our writing. Unnecessary adjectives and adverbs clutter up the page and put our readers to sleep.

We should also avoid using big words and empty phrases because we think they makes us sound clever. Redundancy is also a problem.

‘A document does not have more value because it is longer. Repeating information does not make it more important. Using jargon does not make the message more significant.’ (Source: 3 Ways To Write In Plain Language)

Here are 44 overused words and phrases to avoid when you write:

Source for Infographic: Grammar Check

If you want to improve your business writing, join us for The Plain Language Programme.

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This article has 2 comments

  1. Toyin Azanor

    Thanks for these. U just get better and better each day as you grow. My vocabulary is definitely going to be improved going forward

  2. Anna

    Perhaps it’s necessary to tag these posts as ‘YMMV depending on where you live’. While I agree with most of these, I’ll just point out that ‘orientate’ is standard British usage (and hey! we invented the language in the first place) as a word has a history dating back to the mid-19th century, and is accepted by all the major dictionaries (including Merriam-Webster) as valid.

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