Monday, April 18, 2011

Blogging Challenge O(verused Words)

I recently discovered a website called autocrit. I think it's pretty cool because you can submit some of your writing and the program will evaluate it for a number different things. I was surprised at some issues I hadn't previously considered--like overused words.

Above is the report on overused words from a short segment of one of my WIPs. After seeing this report, I became aware of areas where I tended to used the same type of phrasing or word useage over and over again. Like adverbs, we need to use moderation (I've already gone through the ms killing adverbs right and left, so I'm quite pleased that I got a "Great work" report. Same thing for uses of "that". But it's obvious I still need some work.)

I'm not expecting this program to be a cure for all that ails my writing, but like Grammar Check on Word it can make me more aware of areas that need more attention.

Do you have any challenges with overused words? What do you do to add variety?

9 comments:

  1. I'm definitely going to check this out. Though I bet I know what some of the words are for me without trying it out. :P

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  2. Oh, that's fantastic. I posted last week about "just" being my crutch word. I have to go through the ms and kill it repeatedly.

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  3. Thanks for sharing; this is invaluable insight!

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  4. I used autocrit once. It complained about my overuse of the word antidisestablishmentarianism. Blasted autocrit just didn't have any appreciation for my type of haikus.

    In answer to your question, thesauruses are a great help for me when I've used a particular word too many times. That and listen to what the people around me use. I found the word tromp through my mother-in-law. Great words are everywhere if you're just willing to seek them out!

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  5. That's cool. I think I've heard of it before. Just is definitely a word I delete on the polishing stage - unless it fits perfectly that is. :)

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  6. I'll have to check out that website. Thanks for the link!

    I know I'll usually copy myself when I'm writing--not necessarily the same word over and over again, but repeat phrases or meaning from something I just read from my MS or just wrote.

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  7. I'll have to check it out. I've used Dr. Wicked's Edit Minion before, and it's likewise helpful. I'll have to compare.

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  8. That is so cool! I can already guess which ones would come back to bite me. :)

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  9. I'll have to check it out! I know I'm guilty of overusing words. "But" in particular. I think the best thing to do to add variety is to just be aware, edit thoroughly, and change what you can. I think if I got bogged down worrying about this during the writing stage... it'd be kind of a nightmare.

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"A new word is like a fresh seed sown on the ground of the discussion." ~Ludwig Wittgenstein

What are your words?

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