Non-Negotiable DEAD WORDS LIST
Understand…if you use ANY of the following in your writings, you will receive a 50!!!!!!!!!
Some words in the English language tend to be overused and, therefore, lose their power. These words are referred to as DEAD WORDS. Below is a list of dead words and some interesting alternatives.
“Dead words,” by my definition, are words students “use to death” in their writing samples. As Language Arts teachers, we can generate a list of such words a mile long. Examples would include: pretty, nice, bad, a lot, and good. This cooperative learning activity is designed to eliminate those repetitious words by providing students with a word bank/wall they can refer to when given a writing assignment.
What is the meaning and origin of ‘dead in the water’?
(J Mallikarjun, Bangalore)
The expression is frequently used in American English in informal contexts. When you tell someone that a project is dead in the water, what you are suggesting is that it is a failure. No matter what you do, things will not turn around.
*The economy of the country has been dead in the water for some years.
According to some scholars, the ‘dead’ object in the water refers to a ship. In the past, a ship that remained stationary or immobile because of insufficient wind was said to be ‘dead’. Like any dead individual, the ship showed no signs of life — no movement. Others believe that the dead object in the water is a fish.
How is the word ‘cicerone’ pronounced?
(Rahul Raj, Ranchi)
Most people pronounce the ‘c’ in the first and second syllables like the ‘ch’ in ‘chips’, ‘chat’ and ‘cheese’. The vowel in the first syllable sounds like the ‘i’ in ‘bit’, ‘kit’ and ‘hit’, and the following ‘e’ is like the ‘a’ in ‘china’. The final ‘rone’ rhymes with the words ‘pony’, ‘tony’ and ‘bony’. This Italian word is pronounced ‘chi-che-RON-y’ with the stress on the third syllable. It is used to refer to a guide — a tour guide, to be precise; a person who gives interesting bits of information about a place. This rather old fashioned word can also be used to mean ‘mentor’.
*We have hired the services of Yadiah, a well-known cicerone.
Many of the common words that we use in English come from the names of people — boycott, sandwich, sideburns, etc. Cicerone is another such example. Marcus Tullius Cicero was a well-known orator during Roman times. Since tour guides are expected to be eloquent and knowledgeable, Italians began to refer to them as ‘cicerones’.
What is the difference between ‘Who/Who ever told you that?’
(K Aarthi, Chennai)
‘Who told you that?’ is a question; it’s normally what you ask someone when you want information. The word ‘ever’ is frequently included in questions to indicate surprise, anger, confusion, admiration, etc. According to books on usage, it is used to make a question more emphatic. In this case, it has more or less the same meaning as the informal expression ‘who on earth?’ The ‘ever’ can be used with other question words as well — where ever, what ever, how ever, etc. There is a tendency nowadays to write ‘who ever’ as one word —whoever.
*What ever/What made you do something so silly?
Which is correct: Is the bank open/opened?
(R Shravanthi, Hyderabad)
The word ‘open’ can be used as a verb and an adjective; ‘opened’ is the past tense form of ‘open’. In the sentence that you have given, the word is functioning as an adjective — therefore it should be ‘open’.
*Is the bank open? The bank opened nearly an hour ago.
*Our studio will remain open during the holidays.
This list is not limited to just these words!
DEAD WORDS ALTERNATIVES
YOU THERE ARE NO ALTERNATIVES! WE DO NOT WRITE IN SECOND PERSON!
a lot, lots Numerous, heaps, many scores, innumerable, much a great deal, many times, often
also Too, moreover, besides, as well as, in addition to
awesome, cool, rad fine, wonderful, marvelous, fantastic, excellent
awful dreadful, alarming, frightful, terrible, horrid, shocking
but however, moreover, yet, still, nevertheless, though, although, on the other had
fun pleasant, pleasurable, amusing, entertaining, jolly
funny amusing, comical, laughable, jovial, strange, peculiar, unusual
got, get received, obtained, attained, succeed in
good excellent, exceptional, fine, marvelous, splendid, superb, wonderful
great wonderful, outstanding, marvelous, fantastic, excellent
guy man, person, fellow, boy, individual
have to need to, must
kid child, boy, girl, youngster, youth, teen, teenager, adolescent
like such as, similar to, similarly
mad angry, frustrated, furious, incensed, enraged, irate
nice pleasant, charming, fascinating, captivating, delightful, pleasurable, pleasing
pretty attractive, comely, beautiful
scared afraid, fearful, terrified, frightened
so this, according, therefore
then first, second, next, later, finally, afterwards, meanwhile, soon
very extremely, exceedingly, fantastically, unusually, incredibly, intensely, truly, fully, especially, shockingly, bitterly,
immeasurable, infinitely, severely, surely, mightily, powerfully, chiefly
Phrases Not to Use
1. I believe, I feel, I think, I know It is your essay—a compilation of thoughts—so I already assumed these are your beliefs, feeling, thoughts, and knowledge. Do not insult my intelligence!
2. And also This is often redundant.
3. And/or Outside of the legal world, most of the time this construction is used, it is neither necessary nor logical. Try using one word or the other.
4. As to whether The single word whether will suffice.
5. Basically, essentially, totally These words seldom add anything useful to a sentence. Try the sentence without them and, almost always, you will see the sentence improve.
6. Being that or being as These words are a non-standard substitute for because. Being that Because I was the youngest child, I always wore hand-me-downs.
7. Considered to be Eliminate the to be and, unless it’s important who’s doing the considering, try to eliminate the entire phrase.
8. Due to the fact that Using this phrase is a sure sign that your sentence is in trouble. Did you mean because? Due to is acceptable after a linking verb (The team’s failure was due to illness among the stars.); otherwise, avoid it.
9. Each and every One or the other, but not both.
10. Now and days One or the other, but not both.
11. Equally as Something can be equally important or as important as, but not equally as important.
12. Etc. This abbreviation often suggests a kind of laziness. It might be better to provide one more example, thereby suggesting that you could have written more, but chose not to.
13. He/she is a convention created to avoid gender bias in writing, but it doesn’t work very well and it becomes downright obtrusive if it appears often. Use he or she or pluralize (where appropriate) so you can avoid the problem of the gender-specific pronoun altogether.
14. Firstly, secondly, thirdly, etc. Number things with first, second, third, etc. and not with these adverbial forms.
15. Got Many writers regard got as an ugly word, and they have a point. If you can avoid it in writing, do so. I have got to must begin studying right away. I have got two pairs of sneakers.
16. Had ought or hadn’t ought. Eliminate the auxiliary had. You hadn’t ought not to pester your sister that way.
17. Interesting One of the least interesting words in English, the word you use to describe an ugly baby. If you show us why something is interesting, you’re doing your job.