Word choice matters. We often don’t realize how repetitive our language is, and we limit our ability to communicate effectively. If you find yourself using the same words every time you write a blog post, consider expanding your vocabulary. All it takes is a conscious effort to be original, and you’ll notice big payoffs in your work. Here’s a list of a few offenders to keep an eye on when blogging. It’s not that these are forbidden (they’re popular for a reason), but to get the most out of your language you should be aware of overusing them.
The least unique of all the adjectives, “unique” is often used as a placeholder to describe anything foreign to the writer. The problem is, “unique” doesn’t actually provide any information or really say anything at all. Instead, convey the qualities of something that strike you “unique.” Be specific!
Current events, sports, and political moments are invariably referred to as “historic” by anyone covering them. But what does this word accomplish? Readers are so familiar with the term that it’s begun to lose meaning. If the same expression applies to a presidential election, an MLB game, and an episode of Saturday Night Live, then that’s a clue to look more deeply. Try explaining the significance of whatever you’re covering. If it’s truly “historic,” it’s worth delving into what makes it so.
If you read any tech-related article, press release, or blog, there’s a good chance the word “innovative” will show up at least once. It’s not that “innovative” is an inaccurate adjective for a new piece of electronics or a scientific breakthrough, it’s just often unnecessary. Every technological advancement or discovery can be considered innovative. People read “innovative” so frequently that their eyes breeze past it. With a less common phrase, readers will register your message more clearly.
As a general rule, use more description to get your message across. Ask yourself “What makes this ‘innovative?’” “Why is this night historic?” It’s always more powerful to show, rather than simply tell.