Kill Fluffy! And Other Thoughts About the Power of Words

Words are powerful.

They can calm, crush, inspire, bore, anger, embarrass, and reveal. Words also become habits; we tend to re-use our words. If you’ve developed bad word-choice habits, you sound unprofessional and do not get the attention your ideas deserve. Break those bad habits with a technique I call: Killing Fluffy.

Download the Writing Tips Cheat Sheet


Don’t call PETA; I’m not suggesting we actually kill cats. But fluff words? It’s definitely time to put them down. Permanently.

Fluff words are filler words that make your writing sound amateurish. They take up space and dilute the meaning. I liken it to “like.” We’ve all heard teenagers overuse “like.” (Annoying!)

Here’s a list of common fluff words:

  • so
  • very
  • much
  • really
  • basically
  • pretty
  • rather
  • more
  • all
  • just

Sure, these are real words that have their place, but often they only fill dead air or add unneeded emphasis.
Here’s the technique. Write your copy. Reread it. Remove every word on this list above. It will not change the meaning of your copy, but it will sound better.
So, basically, just remove all fluff words. Really, it will pretty much make your all your writing like so much better.
Oops, what I meant to say was:
Remove fluff words; it will make your writing better.

We believe in cheating. That’s why we’ve created this handy Writer’s Cheat Sheet with tips on how to improve your writing, along with a list of commonly misused words and phrases. Download it for free today. Go ahead. Cheat. (We won’t tell anyone.)