7 Words to Strike From Your Vocabulary

May 20, 2015

In a world filled with text messaging, tweets, and emojis, more people value getting straight to the point in the fewest words possible. So in order to be succinct in communication, The Daily Muse recently highlighted several words you should eliminate from your vocabulary:

  1. Honestly: "People use honestly to add emphasis," the Muse article notes. "The problem is, the minute you tell your reader this particular statement is honest, you've implied the rest of your words were not."
  2. Always: This word has the potential to make you sound conceited, close-minded, or leave you open to criticism if what you say turns out to be inaccurate. "Always" is seldom true.
  3. Irregardless: This means "regardless" — so use regardless instead.
  4. Absolutely: It’s redundant to say "absolutely necessary." Replace it with "essential."
  5. Very: "Very" is intended to magnify a verb, adjective, or another adverb. "What it does is it makes your statement less specific," according to the Muse. "If you're very happy? Be ecstatic. If you're very sad, perhaps you're melancholy or depressed. … 'Very sad' is a lazy way of making your point."
  6. Just: Omit it from your sentences since it tends to be a filler word that makes your sentences sound weaker (unless, obviously, if you're using "just" as a synonym for "equitable" or "fair").
  7. That: People love to write sentences with "that," but try striking the word from your vocabulary and you'll find it's "superfluous most of the time," the Muse says. Also, avoid using "that" when referring to people. (e.g. "I have several clients that..." Instead: "I have several clients who…")

Source: “15 Words You Need to Eliminate From Your Vocabulary to Sound Smarter,” The Daily Muse (2015)