Words We Only Sometimes Hate

As mentioned earlier, there are some words that should be banned from the English language. However, sometimes there are words that are perfectly acceptable words, but should be banned from a manuscript.

Take “enrich,” for example. Enrich is a nice word. It’s versatile. And the author of the last project I worked on used it approximately 47, 689 times.

I have a poetry manuscript and two fantastic friends who read my manuscript. One of them mentioned that I used the word dust a lot. I did? I went back and searched. I used it way too often, and it’s such a small word that I had never noticed. Ditto the word green.

All writers have words they use over and over again. Our job as editors is to kill them. Kill your darling words. Preserve their freshness by using them only once every 100 pages.

What words are on your temporary no-fly list?


3 responses to “Words We Only Sometimes Hate

  1. I personally managed to overload my novel manuscript with the word ‘malevolent’, sounds like you’d have trouble overusing it, but you’d be surprised how often I managed to break it out. I blame the fact that it feels so good on the tongue

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