Welcome to the final Writing Tip Tuesday, the Writing Pet Peeves edition. If you’ve been following along, you know that I’ve been posting every Tuesday with content pulled from my free guide “On Not Writing Badly.” You can download the whole thing by simply filling out this form, or, if you’d rather not subscribe to my email list, you can simply scroll back through the last eleven Tuesdays for a super dose of word nerdery.
Having covered a lot of the basics, I thought I’d take a moment to share a few of the truly irritating things I see people do all the time in their writing.
So heregoes, in no particular order…
Writing Pet Peeves
“As per,” “could be said,” and “can be considered” are usually redundant. Cut them.
“Kind of,” “sort of,” “type of” and similar phrases should always be edited out.
Dito for “in my opinion,” and “I think.”
“Can not” should always be written “cannot.”
“Very” is an indicator that you need a better word. Furthermore, there is no such thing as “very unique.”
“Impact” means to hit something. Do not use it in place of affect or effect. If you’re unsure about whether your sentence calls for “affect” or “effect” download the guide below, or go back to week three and read the post on Commonly Misused Words.
The words “amongst” and “amidst” are considered archaic. Don’t use them, unless you want to sound like an old British lady.
“Literally” means exactly, precisely, actually or truly. It should not be used for emphasis.
Irregardless is a double negative and can be confusing. It also makes you sound like an asshole. Avoid it.
Don’t use exclamation marks in your professional writing. In a strange way, it encourages people to ignore you.
Simplify whenever possible. “At the present time” is the same as “now.”
The word email does not need a hyphen.
Thanks to everyone who has followed along with the Writing Tip Tuesday series, and particularly to those who have sent kind feedback about the guide. Starting next Tuesday, I’ll be returning to my usual rants about writing, but I will be leaving all the posts up, should anyone want to review.