We all hear about making a word of the year, which I totally have done in the past, but this year I decided to turn it around a bit! As a travel writer, I am constantly proofing and changing around my work, and I’ve noticed a few words that I overuse and either consistently change or omit after proofreading.
my list for un-word of the year 2019
- Too – I find that when I use this word, I can pretty much give it the ax every single time. I allow myself to use it while I’m writing a rough draft so that my language flows naturally, but all too (ha!) often, I end up deleting it.
- Also – See explanation for “too” above.
- Love – This word is totally misused in our language. I love my family, but I don’t really LOVE shops, restaurants…etc. I want to tone it down a bit and actually use words like “enjoy” a bit more.
other bloggers’ take on un-word of the year
I couldn’t be left without a few friends who could sympathize with me, so I called on other travel writers to join me in my quest for better writing in 2019. Here are a few words they have tended to overuse.
- Running a budget travel blog, the word cheap just rolls off the tongue – everything I recommend ranges from penny-pinching to mega affordable and it’s in every post. I’m committing to cut down though, as I can do better with my vocabulary! ~Danni, Live in 10 Countries
- I try not to use the word then in my writing. I came across a list of words not to use and this is the one that really stood out to me. Now I cut it out whenever I notice myself using it. ~Josie, Josie Wanders
- I find myself using the word actually far too often, and have to skim read each post before I post them specifically for this word, just to be certain. Instead of simply “I believe the view is the best I have seen” I would write “I actually believe the view is the best I have seen”. ~ Alan, More Passport Stamps
- There was a time when I used the words
in facta lot when writing. It always sounded correct when I typed it. But I sometimes used the phrase 5-6 times in a post! And while I didn’t mean it this way, it often appeared condescending, as though I was the only one who knew the truth about something. In fact, that’s often not the case at all. ~ Michael, The RTW Guys
- I’m amazed at how often amazing finds its way into travel blogs. It’s one of those fashionably over-used words that shows readers nothing. Wouldn’t it be amazing if everyone could refrain from using it? ~ Stuart, Go Eat Do
- I use though in a way to give myself a way out of a situation when I’m not 100% confident in what I’m writing. It’s also a people-pleasing word. For
example:this hike is hard, though most people will be able to complete the walk if they take their time. ~ Jub, Tiki Touring Kiwi
- I use the word however so many times! I guess because I always try to give a balanced view of things. If I ever say something negative about a place I try to follow with a positive. ~ Demi, Around the World with Her
- I use the word truly all of the time! I do it for emphasis, but my overuse of the word probably makes it sound disingenuous. ~ Renee, Renee the
- The word that is probably one of the most unnecessary words in the English language. I think that it will work. I think it will work. This year I’m ditching “that”! ~ Leyla, Women on the Road
more un-words for 2019 from bloggers
- In the US, the word awesome is heavily overused to the point of being meaningless. I’m trying to eliminate this ubiquitous word except when used in its original sense, to describe something that inspires awe. ~ Ingrid, Second-Half Travels
- I have had so much disdain for the word epic for a while now…most often I find people use “epic” for everything from ice cream to road trips. It’s so overused, it won’t be in my writing in 2019. ~ Ayngelina, Bacon is Magic
- I am ditching the word very in 2019 because the word does not communicate enough information. It’s a word thrown in to magnify another word, but it doesn’t do that. In fact, very has been called one of the most useless words in the English language. ~ Lora, Explore with Lora
- I’m committing to using the word incredible in fewer blog posts in 2019. As a professional freelance writer for over 30 years, I *know* it’s always better to include vivid detail over vague descriptors like “incredible.” So in the coming year, I’ll be working on catching myself when I use those words and swapping them out for words that evoke flavor, color, texture, and experience instead. ~ Chris, Explore Now or Never
- My un-word when writing articles for my website in 2019 is of course. Of course, this will be a challenge, because I feel a need to explain my thoughts and do the same thing when speaking. Only when I read through a published article later do I realize how redundant it becomes! ~ Roxanna, Gypsy With a Day Job
- I tend to overuse the word absolutely, especially in combination with “worth it”. Our blog is about travel and sometimes we talk about the challenges we face on the road before we get to do or see something wonderful. Luckily, the conclusion is mostly “but it was absolutely worth it”. In 2019, I am coming up with new expressions! ~ Darja, DeeGees Life
and maybe not an un-word of the year, but still worthy
I love emojis — they’re expressive, fun and conversational, and I want my blog to be all of those things. But in 2019, I plan to get more creative and find words that tell the story instead. ~ Maire, Temples and Treehouses
do you have an un-word of the year?
I know it’s hard, but maybe with
I hope you are inspired to think about some words that you can do without throughout this next year. Let me know in the comments if you have an un-word of the year or even a word of the year 2019. Happy New Year!
8 responses to “Un-Word of the Year”
I loved your post. So many words in our lexicon have become hackneyed by overuse, such as “stellar.” It’s been ruined for me.
Oh yes! Stellar is another one. I have so many to avoid in 2019. Ha! I really want to especially only use “love” in the right sense. Thank you for stopping by!! 🙂
I use “but” “however” and “so” so much (pun intended). Like are there no other words as a writer I could have used? Nope lol. It definitely needs to be a goal of mine to decrease that usage.
Ugh, I use the words”actually” and “literally” waayyy too much both on my blog and Instagram. These are things I should pay attention to this year.
I use ‘right’ and ‘thus’ so much! Good enough, I employ them naturally so I have absolutely no problem with such words.
I usually use however and actually but I must say a great reminder. I will try not to use it.
I use a lot of “so”, “that” and…ugh…”amazing”. Whenever I edit, I either re-write the offending sentence(s) or use synonyms for “amazing”. I try to write as naturally an enthralling as possible to make readers feel they’re right there and that probably explains “amazing” and “incredible” – another un-word, sigh.
I try not to use the word “then” when I write. It sounds better when I don’t use it as much.