Avoid the use of qualifiers –rather, very, little, pretty. We often do this to protect ourselves – “It was sort of a big ice cream cone.” I don’t want to commit myself and say, “It was a big ice cream cone.”

Or we can hedge around about who we went camping with. “Our Uncle Harry went camping with us. He’s really not our uncle, but he was a close friend of my dad’s. He visited us four or five times a year and we started calling him, Uncle Harry.”

All this gobble-de-gook has taken me away from telling you about our great camping trip.

Try this sentence about overusing qualifiers:
“We should all try to do a little better, we should all be very watchful of this rule, for it is a rather important one and we are pretty sure to violate it now and then.” (36 words – How many words do you need to say this?)


4 responses to “Qualifiers

  1. Hello Ed,

    Thank you for this exercise in brevity and clarity. I enjoy reading all your posts and I learn a lot from you.
    Keep up the great work.


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