Overused words and extending your vocabulary

Starting in the year I was born, Lake Superior State University has been compiling a list of words that should be banished from use. I feel there must be some sort of connection.

The 35th annual List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness was published this year. There are a couple I hadn’t heard and a couple I’m not that bothered about and a couple I wholeheartedly support. The use of the word ‘czar’ for political appointees has irritated me for a while.

I’ve also been conscious of extreme overuse (by me as much as anyone) of the phrase ‘in these economic times’ since I’ve been back in employment. Every comment about planning, forecasting or analysing results has to be qualified by a reference to the fact that we’re in/have been in a recession. You know, in case we’d forgotten. It’s almost as if it can’t be taken for granted or we’re apologising for presenting abnormal figures. We need to constantly refer to it. Which makes me think that the recession doth protest too much. The alphabetic complete list is here.

Like BeckySharper over at the Pursuit of Harpyness in her blog about the list I have a tendency to overuse the word really. Or sometimes very.

What words do you overuse? I plan to make an ‘overused words’ list as I work on Sacrifice to help strengthen my writing. What would be on your list?

4 thoughts on “Overused words and extending your vocabulary

  1. `Suddenly` and `Instantly`! I know these are adverbs and are frowned upon anyway, but Oh my god! Whilst editing Gorthian they popped up everywhere. Originally you think they aid a speedy pace, but they only slow it down – especially when your work is flooded with them.I've fallen in love with my delete key…

  2. Yes, just is one of mine too. Good and bad are sort of place holders in my first draft – like a mental note to do it better second time round! I don't recall the last time I used blazing or blazes – I'll take some of your spares…

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