Avoid plague words

What are plague words?

They bloat text, waste time, confuse the reader and don’t earn their keep. Examples include “at about”, or “ask the question”. You may well be asking yourself why are these examples considered plague words.

Concise copywriting is an art form.

The examples above should be more simply written as follows:

♣ At about = at

♣ Ask the question = ask

Also consider this example

Our riding helmets are lighter and stronger due to our use of titanium.
We use titanium to make a lighter, stronger riding helmet.

Bloated copywriting

The following is the beginning of a list of some common plague phrases. Make a note and avoid using them in your copywriting.


  • a majority of / most
  • a number of / many
  • accounted for by the fact that / because
  • are in receipt of / received
  • are of the same opinion / agree
  • as a consequence of / because
  • arrived at the conclusion / concluded
  • at this point in time / now
  • beyond a shadow of a doubt / definitely
  • despite the fact that / although
  • each and every / use one or the other
  • it is often the case that / often
  • in my opinion / I think
  • in some instances / sometimes

This and all previous copywriting tips apply regardless of where your copy appears, be it on-line or in print. Remember, the image of you and your business is reflected in everything you do so ensure your copywriting is sharp, correct and engaging.

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This post was written by Helen Ward