Join Judy Steiner-Williams for an in-depth discussion in this video Eliminate vague words and expressions, part of Writing in Plain English.
- What comes to mind when you hear the word weasel?…The small mammal that's an active predetor,…long and slender with short legs?…Or maybe the slang term, that scheming deceitful,…conniving person who will do whatever's…neccessary to get what he wants.…As in he weaseled his way out of attending the…meeting by saying he was stuck in traffic.…Or the slang verb for physical removal, the dog…managed to weasel out of the cage.…Those are all legitimate meanings of weasel.…Now let's talk about weasel words, that informal expression…to define meaningless, vague words that add nothing…to a sentence except extra words.…
Words that may try to either overstate or…understate something, to give an overexaggerated…view or to intentionally mislead.…We often find them in advertising and politics.…They're like that dog trying to get out of something.…They help the writer get out of giving specifics…of providing concrete evidence.…I like Stewart Chaplin's definition in…Stained Glass Political Platform published…in 1900 in The Century Magazine.…
If you can write in plain English, you can save time, save money, and save face in communications. Start watching to learn how to make your writing more "plain": stronger, clearer, and more concise.
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- Understanding plain English
- Catching mistakes by reading aloud
- Simplifying sentences
- Using strong verbs and meaningful words
- Avoiding corporate jargon
- Finding the right voice and tone
- Editing flow and content
- Writing in a conversational style