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Words to Avoid Writing Online

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15 Words You Should Avoid Writing Online (*and what to use instead)

These words should never be written. If you want to write well online, consider each sentence a valuable opportunity to communicate your message to your audience. So, your words should work toward this. What’s more, online character limits can mean there’s no room for unnecessary words. To help, I’ve created a list of meaningless words to avoid.

Business Buzzwords

In the corporate world, these words are overused and meaningless.

  • Pivot: The ultimate buzzword of 2020. It refers to a business making changes to stay relevant. Why not try ‘adapt’ or ‘shift’ instead?
  • Value-add: An element that adds value. I’ve never understood this term and secretly dislike hyphenated words. Why not try ‘added benefit’ or ‘bonus’. Let’s chuck this one from the office vernacular.
  • Deep dive: I seem to be seeing this term everywhere at the moment. Perhaps we could try something a little more original. How about ‘analysis’ or ‘exploration’?
  • Bandwidth: Unless you’re referring to WiFi or internet, this word is unnecessary. Try ‘capacity’.

Empty Words

This shortlist of words add nothing to copy, except characters. The thing about redundant words is they don’t require alternatives – delete and move on.

  • That/ which
  • At all times
  • Really/ Very
  • In order
  • To be honest

Trend words

Finally, these words should only be used by businesses targeting adolescent and teen audiences.

  • Extra: instead use ‘flamboyant’ or ‘excitable
  • Low-key: you could use ‘quiet’ or ‘secretly’
  • Salty: synonyms include ‘irritated’ and ‘disappointed’
  • Slay: ‘dominate’ and ‘performed well’
  • Shook: use words like ‘shocked’ or surprised.’

Thanks for reading and all the best with your next writing challenge! Any questions? Please comment below.

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