Avoiding Filler Words

Avoiding Filler Words


Filler words are the bane of every PR practioner’s existence. We continually endure the deadening of our English language as people say ‘The meeting was really cool’ when we really mean ‘the meeting was engaging and dynamic.’ In order to combat the growing feelings of meh’ I propose we employ Sun Tzo’s Art of War really begin to understand our enemy. Starting now. Starting here.

There are three general types of filler words.

Intensifiers Qualifiers Stallers
—  Very—  Really—  Extremely —  Used to—  Sort of—  Kind of —  Um—  Like—  You know?—  Well—  Err


—  That is very interesting.

—  That is very, very interesting.

—  That is extremely interesting.

—  That is amazingly interesting.

—  That is scarily interesting.

—  That is quite interesting.

—  That is a bit interesting.

—  That is captivating.


—  Sandy Sampson used to write poetry.

—  Sandy Sampson wrote poetry.


Taylor Mali describes it best:

Let us garner wisdom from famous wordsmiths of the English language:

Thomas Jefferson

Jack Kerouc

Mark Twain

—“The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.”filler2 — One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”filler3 — Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”


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