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Non Essential Words


Former Member

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When your story is finished, do a find  on the list of words below and eliminate those that are not essential.  You'll be surprised at how many will come out. After you've used this list a dozen times you'll find that you stop and consider these words before you type them into your manuscript.

 

Exactly   Could  It  There  Believe  Think  Quite  Some  Now  Even  Both  Pretty  Really Simply  Usually  Just  But  That  All  Ever  Finally  Very  Before  Up  Also  Actually  Especially

 

Another suggestion:  If you have a narrator on your computer, have it read your story back to you. Typos, errors in grammar, misuse of contractions, and a host of other areas requiring your attention will stick out like a sore thumb when you hear your story spoken.  

 

If you don't have a narrator on  your computer, read your story out loud to yourself or a sympathetic friend.

 

 

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Thanks Cia - I'll remember that word 'bloat'

Do you ever go to sleep? 

 

Sometimes. Usually I crash between 11 and 1 and I'm up between 4  to 6. Sleep is not my friend.

 

I don't follow this rule anymore. When I first read those suggestions above, I tried to follow them. What do I know? I'm still learning how to write in English. When I read the story aloud afterwards, it felt unnatural and stilted. So I put some of the bad words back. Z. usually puts the odd 'just' or 'that' back too while he edits my stories. Now I have a number that I try not to exceed and it works well for me. There are other exceptions of course. People who talk to other people use all the bad words above. Would I write a conversation without them, it felt wrong. In my early stories I used too many of the bloat words, yes, but canceling them out just because is wrong too. Just MHO.

 

With these, and all rules really, it's knowing them and also knowing when they do and don't work for you or your story. Very few rules are hard and fast.

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aditus . . . 

 

Cia wrote it,  I'll just ad my too scents two your comment.

 

George Carlin said it best, 'There are no bad words.'

If they sound right - use them, If they don't, don't, or is it if they do not, do not?

Could be if they don't, do not, or if they do not, don't.

It's early, and the chickens need feeding. Toddle.

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Sometimes. Usually I crash between 11 and 1 and I'm up between 4  to 6. Sleep is not my friend.

 

 

With these, and all rules really, it's knowing them and also knowing when they do and don't work for you or your story. Very few rules are hard and fast.

True.

 

aditus . . . 

 

Cia wrote it,  I'll just ad my too scents two your comment.

 

George Carlin said it best, 'There are no bad words.'

If they sound right - use them, If they don't, don't, or is it if they do not, do not?

Could be if they don't, do not, or if they do not, don't.

It's early, and the chickens need feeding. Toddle.

 

And true.

 

I only needed to point out that you can not follow the suggestions all the time, and your story still can be a good story, as obvious as this may be. I know writers, especially young writers, who are afraid to use some words now and their stories suffer. :)

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I think the exception to this rule is dialogue and character's thoughts. We use these words when we think and speak, so in the stories the characters should as well.

 

One trick I use in my own writing and when I look over someone else's, search for have and has. This finds where you have used passive voice.

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Even more than "bloat" words, I'm put off by word overuse. If you repeat a word, any word, often enough, it loses all meaning.

 

I've heard it called semantic satiation.

 

As mentioned above, read it aloud, or have a friend read it aloud, or have your computer read it aloud. The origin of language is the spoken word. The origin of storytelling is oral. It's easier to overlook written words than spoken ones. We learn to read between the lines and overlook stuff.

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This is more difficult in my story 18 Weeks.

Both narrators are 15 and most dialogue is between 15 year old boys.

I try to retain words like "like"  :)  since it always peppers their speech. It's just so like normal, ya know?

However, I tone it down a bit in the narration, if merely to offer a distinction between dialogue and story telling.

I hope I'm successful.  :(

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is more difficult in my story 18 Weeks.

Both narrators are 15 and most dialogue is between 15 year old boys.

I try to retain words like "like"  :)  since it always peppers their speech. It's just so like normal, ya know?

However, I tone it down a bit in the narration, if merely to offer a distinction between dialogue and story telling.

I hope I'm successful.  :(

You betcha! :)

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Lsia . . .

Yuo're the olny one who cugaht it.

I'm knot srue watt taht syas fore the rset of the raedres. 

Monk

That's so funny! It's like that paragraph where the words are missing key letters, but the readers can read the whole paragraph anyway because of how the brain processes the words. Or something like that! lol

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Lisa - this is the way it works - the first letter of a word and the last letter of a word must be there, then you can scramble the rest of the letters and the brain will figure it out - amazing, but it is true.

 

I like to use words that sound the same but have different meanings. like your and you're - there and their - not and knott - and then there is the pronunciation. The one I like is  Buick and Quick - how will a foreigner ever figure that out. 

 

There's a whole list of them.  How people learn the English language is truly a mystery. 

 

Monk

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Even more than "bloat" words, I'm put off by word overuse. If you repeat a word, any word, often enough, it loses all meaning.

 

I've heard it called semantic satiation.

 

As mentioned above, read it aloud, or have a friend read it aloud, or have your computer read it aloud. The origin of language is the spoken word. The origin of storytelling is oral. It's easier to overlook written words than spoken ones. We learn to read between the lines and overlook stuff.

 

There are times, while reading a story, I feel I'm listening to a jock interview on ESPN. They tend to use "like" and "you know", some writers repeat a word so often in a few paragraphs, they give me the same desire to gag. A thesaurus is a wonderful tool.

 

On the same front is action repetition. Charecters 'smirking" or "rolling their eyes" is perfectly fine the first time. And the second. But by the time they've done the same thing several times in one chapter--and not as a signature gesture by one of them only--it grates.

 

I slip now and then and my editor is quick to slap me back to reality. :fight:

Edited by Carlos Hazday
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Lisa - this is the way it works - the first letter of a word and the last letter of a word must be there, then you can scramble the rest of the letters and the brain will figure it out - amazing, but it is true.

 

I like to use words that sound the same but have different meanings. like your and you're - there and their - not and knott - and then there is the pronunciation. The one I like is  Buick and Quick - how will a foreigner ever figure that out. 

 

There's a whole list of them.  How people learn the English language is truly a mystery. 

 

Monk

Buick and Quick - I never thought of those words! Isn't it amazing how people learn English? lol

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FOR THE VERBALLY INSANE

 

English, what a language! Homographs are words of like spelling but with more than one meaning.   A homograph that is also pronounced differently is a heteronym.  You think English is easy?    I think a retired English teacher was bored...THIS IS GREAT!   Read all the way to the end... This took a lot of work to put together!    

 

1)  The bandage was wound around the wound.

2)  The farm was used to produce produce.

3)  The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4)  We must polish the Polish furniture.

5)  He could lead if he would get the lead out.  

6)  The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7)  Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.  

8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.  

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.    

10)  I did not object to the object.

1)  The insurance was invalid for the invalid.  

12)  There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13)  They were too close to the door to close it.  

14)  The buck does funny things when the does are present.  

15)  A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16)  To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17)  The wind was too strong for me to wind the sail.  

18)  Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear..

19)  I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

 20)  How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?  ]

 

Let ' s face it - English is a crazy language.  There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren' t invented in England or French fries in France .  Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren ' t sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.  

 

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?

If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth?

One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese?

One index, 2 indices?

Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend?

If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?  

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?

If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

 

Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.

In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?

Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same as no chance, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

 

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.

 

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.    

 

PS. - Why doesn't 'Buick' rhyme with 'quick'?  
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I know - it's alarming how insane it must appear to someone who decides to learn the English language.

And then there are the contractions and plural ending which make no sense whatsoever.

I still have to look it up - is it 's' or 'ies' 

would not is won't

should not is or shouldn't 

shall not is shan't

will not is won't

 

Tucson is pronounced toosun but I"ve heard it pronounce tucksun - whose to  know?

 

Two bee ore knott too bee. 

Is that really the question?

 

There is no end to it.

 

go peel me a banana and  listen to the bell peal.  It's actually the other way around, but when speaking, do you really know what I mean?

Oh shucks, we were going to removed the shucks from the corn and never got around to it.

 

Monk

Edited by Former Member
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'would not is won't'

 

Don't you mean would not is wouldn't? Won't is definitely will not, but would not is wouldn't.

 

I agree -- for an ESL student, I would think learning the English language would be very difficult.

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Oh, as far as Tuscon, I've only heard it pronounced Too sahn (as in Tuscon, Arizona or a Tuscon, the car made by Hyundai (I had one last year)...or is it Tucson? Yes...I just Googled it; it's Tucson, but pronounced the same way as Tuscon, Arizona.). I've never heard it pronounced Tuckson.

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Oh yes, learning English is a chore, lol. It took me years to be where I am now, and I still have so much to learn. Still, I could find examples like the ones mentioned above in German also, so language on itself is crazy, because it's alive. And isn't that great?

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In Spanish, I learned how to pronounce five vowels and I was done. I could read, and properly pronounce, 99% of the language. That simplicity went out the window when Ibegan speaking English. Phraseology differences still creep into my speech and writing now and then, causing my editors to scratch their heads.

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