Friday, November 1, 2019

Today's Writing Tip Is Kind of Sort of Worth Reading

When did the words "kind of," "sort of" and "slightly" creep into our vocabularies? These are meaningless terms and they detract from our writing. This also seems to be a class phenomenon in that the more educated someone is, the more likely they seem to be to put these disqualifying modifiers in front of their perfectly good nouns.

For example, I have noticed the "kind of/sort of" talk on CBC radio in Canada, BBC TV in Britain, NPR in the US, and on the podcast Pod Save America. These are otherwise well-spoken people who say things like, "I was slightly mortified" or "It was kind of wonderful." No, no, no. You are either mortified or you are not. Period; end of story. It was wonderful or it wasn't, and if it wasn't that great, then it was so-so.
Be aware of using these meaningless terms in your speech and in your writing. The latter will sound much more clear and concise without them.