Monday, April 5, 2010

Crutch words

In order to keep the editing momentum going I'll keep tonight's blog short. My discussion for this entry is the use of 'crutch' words. I'm not sure if there is specfic term for the phrase so 'crutch' will have to do. So what is 'crutch' words. Well, they are the words that comes naturally while writing to simplfy the process.

These words are not entirely incorrect in their usage, but they seem weak.

The sentence above is an example of using crutch words. The underlined words are crutch words. The above sentence implies the use of the words create weak sentences. While editing I have been attempting to keep track of my crutch words. I first noticed their use when working on the second revision of RABBIT SLAYER. In fact I have begun to create a list of these words so that I can keep an eye out for them during my current revision/edit. I think that to create a more polished piece with stronger writing we writers should be aware of our crutch words and strive to minimize their usage.

Here is a list of some of the words I rely on too much. 'but', 'seem', 'just', 'probably', 'no doubt', 'had', 'as', 'she', 'he', and 'still'.

These are but a few words I watch, though there are tons more. I'm curious - does anyone else have 'crutch' words?


  1. Great post, I know exactly what you're talking about. I have a list of them too, my first revision was basically going through and getting rid of them. Mine are: just, so, well, really, seem, that.

  2. I agree with crutch words. There are several words that I constantly use that I'm really trying to rid myself of: so, well, because, which.

  3. I have more of a crutch phrase. It is "Seemed as if" and it seems as if i use it all the bloody time :)

  4. I hate crutch words. I'm a girl who likes 'she', 'as', 'looked', and - I imagine lots of others. Oh well, better check out the old MS for those evil little words :)

  5. As if
    and then
    the verb to be
    the list is sooooo much longer, but you got most of them.

  6. Yes! I am forever using... I (lol), we, were, was, my brain...

    It really annoys me after I noticed them popping up all over the place. Actually, it worked out when I highlighted all the crutch words. I even did a word count of them. Eek! How do we stop??