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Another gem for you! In a word, PEOPLE. Not the magazine, but the word.

It is vague and overused in the most basic sense. When you use the word “people,” stop and ask yourself, “What people?” The students? Sunday-school teachers? Drug addicts? Artists?

Here are two examples:

The people at her funeral were dressed in leopard skin.

What people? Were they Steven Tyler wannabees?

Her friends knew she loved animal prints so they dressed in leopard skin as a  tribute to her quirks.


The people around me appeared to be psychotic criminals who had more tattoos than teeth.

 In this case, the “people” were already described.

 I was surrounded by what appeared to be psychotic criminals who sported more tattoos than teeth.

Rather than calling it the “Search and Replace” function in Word, I now call it “Seek and Destroy.” I deleted  73 “people” from my manuscript. If you try it on your writing, let me know what you find.

Don’t take this photo personally. I’m sick of the word, not you.