Another word I overused was probably. Probably isn’t a bad word. And I wasn’t using it wrong. I just didn’t need it.
I went into FROSTY recently and did a search. I found 72 probablys. So it’s not on par with my overuse of just or that, but writing experts say every words counts. And if I don’t need that probably, I should take it out.
Here are a few examples.
-I had probably broken most of her rules during my time with her.
(Sydney did break most of those rules, so why use probably?)
-She’d probably make fun of them, all hoity-toity, which is what she called people who thought they were better than us.
(Sydney knows darn well her mother would make fun of the Claytons. I don’t need the probably.)
-Maybe, but I’ll probably die from your driving long before smoking kills me.
(Sydney’s being snarky here, the probably lessens the impact.)
-Corbin’s all-brick house was monstrous—probably three times the size of Brooke’s.
(We know she’s guessing; she doesn’t have the floor plans and square footage, so no need for probably.)
After I deleted all my unnecessary probablys, I had 39. Not a huge change, but if I want to make every word count, this is a good word to start with.