If you’re like me, you have a few words or phrases that you find yourself using too much. When I make my final passes through anything I write, I watch for these overused words and rephrase whenever possible.
I’ve become pretty good at finding my overused phrases. If you have difficulty finding them in your documents, try pasting the entire text of your document into a word cloud app like TagCrowd. Set the tool to “Show frequencies” so that you can see the number of times you use the words.
Be smart about your word clouds however. It’s normal for words like the topic of your document to be repeated frequently. Suppose you’re writing a proposal for a new way to manufacture widgets. In that case, you’d expect the word widgets to be used frequently. There would be no need to change it.
What kinds of words are you likely to want to change? That’s where today’s #InfographicInspiration comes in. The image shows 44 Overused Words and Phrases to Be Aware Of and suggests alternative words to use instead. One more tip: You want to have variety in your documents, but don’t let this list of overused words and phrases block your writing. Go ahead and use whatever comes to mind in your first draft. Use the list when you are revising and editing.
If you want to comment, share details on what you always check for when you proofread. For me, for instance, I have to check my use of not/now. I am notorious for typing not when I mean to type now. Point in case: I once sent out a message to everyone who used our company’s software announcing that “The new release was not available.” Talk about embarrassing! What mistakes do you always double-check for?
Note: This infographic needs a text-based transcript. See the Optional Accessibility Transcript Activity for more details.