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  Tips for Writers by Brad Hyde (February 13, 2007)
 


The Problem with "Always"

The writing text, The Process of Composition, puts it this way:

Always remember never to say always and never (and all and none, and everyone and nobody) Reasonable thinking should be reflected in reasonable language. All-inclusive statements can rarely be proved. Qualify and specify.

Though said with humour, Joy Reid is deadly serious. Your written work suffers when you develop a bad case of "overstatement." One certain way to get your reader's back up takes including only a few of the words mentioned.

Instead, use "sometimes," "often," "in many cases," "usually," and so on. Check your current writing and see if you can find any unreasonable statements. Remove them and your writing may improve!

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