Crutch words in writing

A word cloud image showing several of the different crutch words people tend two use in their writing.

Whenever we talk, and we want to give ourselves time to think, we use filler words, of crutch words, like ‘uh’ or ‘anyway’ or ‘as I was saying’ or like you hear so much ‘you know’. Sometimes people use the same word over and over again, and if you are like me, you concentrate on that one word so much, that you sometimes don’t hear what they are really saying.

Crutch or filler words in writing

In writing crutch words are words we use for a particular reason, but we tend to use too much. We lean on the words to fill our text, and instead of it strengthening our text, it weakens it. You should catch these words when you edit your stories, but you might be so used to using them in your speech, that you don’t. In order to make your text stronger, identify the filler words you use the most, then edit your story and check whether your sentence will be stronger without it.

Tip: using crutch words in dialogue will mostly be more acceptable than in the rest of your story, but once more: don’t use it too much!

Examples of words

Below is a lost of the most commonly used crutch words. If you have any to add, please let us know.

a bithonestlyseriously
actuallyI meanslightly
appear toliterallythat
as thoughlook/glancethere is/are
beginning toneedto be fair
believeneedless to saytruly
felt likerealizewonder
for what it’s worthreallyyeah
hearsee/noticeyou know
highlyseem toyou see

2 thoughts on “Crutch words in writing

  1. I use


    far too much. I am not too bad with “that” I have leaned to remove them. I am generally more careful when writing fiction, I have to say.
    Thanks Marie

    1. I am editing a story which I wrote many years ago, and you won’t believe how many times I had to remove ‘that’. Definitely is something I have learned too over the years 🙂 xox

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