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I am pretty sure for certain the words “pretty,” “sure,” and “certain” make my list of overused and often pointless words.

What do you think?

I can be pretty scary when fired up.

 Don’t get me started on WordPress problems!

I am scary when fired up.


She sure is an excellent writer.

 That is up for debate.

 She is an excellent writer. 


He kept certain words and tossed the rest.

De-cluttering your novel?

 He kept the strong words and tossed the weak ones. 

“Pretty,” “sure,” and “certain” were not chronic offenders in my novel, but they wriggled their way into unassuming sentences. When taken out/reworded, the passages were breezier.

Granted, not all “pretty’s,” “sure’s,” and “certain’s” are word-litter but I was surprised by how many I took out.

If you are playing along, let me know what you find in your writing.

For advice on other words that sneak into your writing, clink on the links below: