Sunday 9 February 2020

Filler Words... What's Yours?

Ask any group of writers what their filler words are and 'just' is certain to appear. They're those words we write without thinking and don't help the clarity.

Those pesky filler
I'm guilty of using filler words, but I'm picking them up better than last year. Now, even stopping mid-sentence and asking myself, do I need to use that word? The answer, no.

There will be others that need removing in the editing process, but if I can reduce known repeat offenders along the way, it saves time later...

We use many of the filler words in everyday conversation, and according to an expert, in this 2017 article from the Independent newspaper online, those words have a purpose- politeness and processing.  (That explains my use of 'well' in conversations...) :D

Perhaps that also fools our brain into giving filler words a pass card when we're writing drafts?

My top three: so, well, and just. I'm working on negating very.

Which filler words do you have to edit out?

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Bea Charles said...

The word I overuse is ‘that’. I call the process of removing the unnecessary words ’thatisfaction’. Maybe for you the verb ‘to justify’ may be appropriate.

Carolb said...

Bea- 'thatisfaction' is a fun phrase.

I have to admit a handful of passive verbs creep in when I'm in writing, another must do better area. :-)

Julia Thorley said...

I definintely use 'just' too much, not only in writing but also in my speeach. I'm guilty of asking my students to 'just do' this or that. I agree with Bea about 'that'. I have one client who calls it a 'miserable little word'.

Carolb said...

Julia- I'm guilty of 'just' in speech too. :-) Perhaps 'just' and 'that' should go head-to-head in a most overused and hated word contest. :D

Patsy said...

I do some thatisfaction myself!

And 'some' is one of my filler words. Sometimes it's appropriate, but more often it would be better to say it's a glass, or a bottle, or whole case of wine, rather than saying 'some' and leaving the reader wondering why our character can still stand.

Carolb said...

Patsy- Another of mine is 'few'- similar issue, pints, sips? I'm reminding myself to be specific. :D