Category Archives: My Opinion

10 Words to Avoid When Writing


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Writing is a combination of art and craft. The art comes from much reading, talking, thinking, dreaming, and writing. The craft is primarily technique. Some techniques are complex, but a few are very simple and will instantly strengthen your writing. In many cases, however, strengthening writing simply means avoiding those things that weaken it.
We have identified 10 words that nearly always weaken writing. In no particular order, they are as follows.
1. Really: “Avoiding this word is a really great idea.”
Reason: A really great idea is the same as a great idea. If you need to emphasize something, such as the “greatness” of an idea, use a single word that means what you are trying to say, e.g., “Avoiding this word is an excellent idea.”
2. You: “Sometimes, you feel like writing is too hard.”
Reason: I never feel this way, so this statement is not true. The writer probably means “I” or “some writers,” e.g., “Sometimes, I feel like writing is too hard.” “You” should only be used when you are actually writing to, and about, the reader, not when making general statements.
3. Feel: “I feel the government should stop people from writing poorly.”
Reason: Which emotion is being “felt”? What is the writer touching and, therefore, feeling? Usually, the writer means “believe” or “think.” “Feel” is also used by authors to describe a character’s emotions, as in “He felt despondent.” Instead, the writer should show the emotions through the character’s words and actions.
4. Think: “I think the government should stop people from writing poorly.”
Reason: If you write an opinion, the reader understands that you also think it. Just say what it is you think, e.g., “The government should stop people from writing poorly.”
5. As: “As you write this word, poke out your eyes. It’s weak as it can cause confusion.”
Reason: A person usually cannot do two actions simultaneously, so “as” doesn’t make sense in the first sentence. It could be rewritten, “Write this word, then poke out your eyes.” In the second sentence, the writer should use “because.” Until reading the rest of the sentence, the reader doesn’t know if “as” means two actions are occurring simultaneously or means “because.”
6. A lot: “A lot of writing could be made better.”
Reason: How much is “a lot”? 100 documents? 50% of everything I have written? 1% of one million books? The term “a lot” is meaningless without the context, but if you give the context, you don’t need the term “a lot.” Also, this is highly subjective. “A lot” to one person may seem like “some” to another.
7. Sort of/Kind of: “Using these words is sort of annoying to the reader.”
Reason: If using these words is only sort of annoying, you haven’t told the reader exactly what it is. If it is annoying, say so: “Writing this way annoys the reader.” If it is not annoying, tell the reader exactly what it is, e.g., “Using these words bothers readers.” Use words that mean what you are trying to say, and give the reader exact descriptions. This also applies to “kind of.”
8. Like: “Using these words is like baking with spoiled milk.”
Reason: If this is like something, then it is NOT that thing. Giving accurate descriptions and using correct verbs will reduce your need to use “like,” e.g., “These words spoil your writing.” A good simile can enhance your writing, but using too many makes writing tedious, so try to think of a different way to express your ideas.
9. Just: “Some people are just persnickety about writing. It’s just the way they write.”
Reason: The word “just” doesn’t add any real value to these sentences. Leaving them out results in the same meanings and makes the sentences much tighter and more direct: “Some people are persnickety about writing. It’s the way they write.” Doesn’t that just sound better?
10. Used to: “He used to write like this when he started writing.”
Reason: Using fewer words to express an idea is almost always a good idea, so “used to write” can be written “wrote,” as in, “He wrote like this when he started writing.” The problem is that “used to write” and “when he started writing” both express events in the past, which is redundant. In nearly every case, “used to . . .” can be replaced with a past tense verb.
The sample sentences demonstrate poor uses of these words, but you will find good uses, too. In fact, some of them are perfectly fine in some contexts or when used in particular ways. Your level of formality, purpose, voice, and audience will determine whether or not to use these words. If you’re not sure whether or not to use them in a particular sentence, our advice is to avoid them.
Precise Edit editors keep a sharp eye out for these troublesome and confusing words. We evaluate their use and, in most cases, find a way to revise the sentences so we don’t use them. The result is stronger writing that more clearly and more professionally communicates the author’s ideas.

What is your level of trust?

Do you believe that the person on the other side of the computer that you are chatting with is genuine? Aren’t there wolves in sheep’s clothing waiting to con you. Have you encountered any such experience? Do share your experience so that we all can learn from it.

Forget about romance but just the motive of the other person ,maybe a fraud, trying to steal information from you. What is your level of trust and how comfortable are you with strangers?

Do you have the 7th sense in knowing the unknown, that is the other person on the other side can be trusted. Have you ever connected to the other person even without seeing them eye to eye or at the their body language.

I have a mixed feeling on this as I generally trust the other side easily as all I want is nothing from them, just to share my experience and thoughts. I read an article about the romance on the internet and it sounds pretty scary. I will paste part of the article below just for your information. But you can access it at :

http://www.ou.edu/oupd/kidsafe/websafe.htm

While danger from such links may not be readily apparent, consider that the persons with whom you are communicating:

  1. May not be anything like they describe themselves, and may not even be the gender they claim.
  1. May not be providing their real name or personal information, and may be using someone else’s account or even a “hacked” account.
  1. May not be located where they say; the individual whom you believe to be on the other side of the country or overseas may be two blocks away.

Tips For Your Safety

Here are some basic personal safety tips you should consider whenever participating in Internet communication, particularly of a personal nature:

  1. Avoid giving out personal information such as your home address or telephone number to people you meet on the net; not everyone is what they seem. There are predators out there, but they won’t look like wolves; they’ll be disguised as sheep.
  1. Exercise caution when agreeing to meet anyone in person whom you’ve met on the net. Before you arrange any such meeting, at least try to address the following:

    1. Can you verify, through a third party whom you know and trust, the true identity of this person?
    1. Is there a way to verify the information provided by this person?




Rising Oil prices?

The price of oil has touched the USD 140/barrel mark and what is next in store for us? Do you think that speculators are up to their tricks again? I guess most of the countries which had subsidised petrol has decided not to do so and this definetly has a spiralling effect on the cost of consumer goods which in turn has brought inflation to an all time high in most of the countries. Strikes and agitations are organised everywhere instead of focussing their energy on other important issues (not to say that this is not an issue).

Maybe this effect is irreversible but what does it mean for ordinary citizens like you and me? Can we really make ends meet now or tomorrow? We know for a fact that developing economies from China and India are consuming a lot of oil but wasn’t this anticipated by the major oil producing nations as this didn’t happen overnight.

Why can’t we be prudent in our requirements for oil? With the increase in oil prices, even electricity goes up and I believe that we should look into other means of generating electricity, maybe nuclear, wind etc.

I saw on TV today Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India, pleading with the public to conserve or save on oil, electricity, water and to stop wastage per se (in otherwords improve on efficiency). I think this is the right step to take and once there is less demand on oil, maybe the oil prices would stabilize or come down. But then again I believe, whatever the prices of essential commodities that has gone up would take a longer period to come down as profiteers would like to cream the situation.

I believe the Opec nations have told that there is no shortage of oil, and if that is the case, then there must an invisible hand behind all this, causing chaos and I am sure some of the Governments that are going in for election are going to lose due to a phenomenon which is not of their making.

Does the weakening of the US Dollar has an impact on all this? If so why can’t trading be done with Euro dollars?

Do you think that the rising of the oil prices is really a blessing in disguise for us so that we can look at the other renewable sources of energy? What we know for sure is that one day oil would deplete and we have to wake up to that reality sooner then later.

Do let me know about your views on this matter and what are your suggestions in improving this grim situation.

What it takes for a blog to be a hit?

I wonder sometimes why some blogs are popular and some are not. What it really takes for a blog to be a hit, for the other bloggers to keep coming back for more. Some just cruise along your blogs silently, they don’t even want to say anything like they are on a stealth mode (yahoo messenger) but then again there are some who would always make it a point to make their presence felt by saying a few kind words. Sometimes harsh words would be a welcome sign too.

Getting ideas or churning out blogs is not an easy task as you have to keep the readers in mind and what you say should have some value (do you agree with me) or it should be able to connect with them. I personally like to read about blogs which focus on the simple mundane day to day activity but with a little touch of humour thrown in. It’s like looking at your life situation but at the same time being detached from it because you have infused some humour in it and maybe laugh at yourself in the process.

And I would also like critics who would say it like it is and maybe stimulate the mind for a debate but I don’t seem to find that from my visitors. A debate is what I like and if my opinion is wrong then I should be told so. I could be barking at the wrong tree so to speak but what I write is always centred on me and my emotional thoughts. I am sure you would have felt the same feeling that I am having regarding your blogs too.

So if you have an answer to my question, please feel free to let me know so that I can improve myself.

The rains are here in Hyderabad


It just started to rain for 10 minutes and there goes the power at 10.31 p.m, what the hell do they expect us to do… sit in the dark…it really cheeses me off. I not only hear the raindrops but also the buzzing of the mosquitoes…even typing this blog is so difficult. Lucky for me I had just finished my dinner otherwise I would have to share my food along with the mosquitoes who succk on my blood. Well this blog is written under protest.

Standing in queue (Is it that difficult?)

Yesterday I was at the Food World chain of supermarkets near the place where in live. I saw they had Alfonso mangoes and I took 2 mangoes and some tomatoes and I was standing in line to get the items weighed and a lady was doing that, she writes the weight on the plastic bag with a permanent marker and in front of me was a guy with quite a lot of stuff. I was waiting patiently for my turn. Out of nowhere an elderly person butts in with his stuff and wanted the lady to weigh it and his excuse was “I have only one item”. I am sick of this line used by people here, I had two items and I was waiting patiently and I told him whether it is one or more item, please stand in line but he just ignored me and he looked educated. What is education if it can’t instill simple civic sense in you?

I told the lady who was weighing that she should not have entertained him but she had a dumb look on her face as I guess the managed hadn’t trained her. This is not the first time I had encountered this, it happens at the checkout counters too. Where someone just walks in with an item and demands that they have to be billed first as they have an item. I did walk out of a supermarket in Banjara Hills and left all the items that I had in my basket worth maybe nearly Rs 1,000 (USD 25) because of this incident and after that I never went to that supermarket again. I did inform the counter girl on what she did was wrong as she told me that the guy had only one item (is it a magic password). She didn’t realize that I too had so many “one” items too.

Sometimes I feel that the counter guys got to educate the customers by asking them to stand in queue and if the supermarket can’t train their staff to do that, what kind of employees do they hire. This to me has a larger implication on the society at large as what had education really imparted to them.

Did anyone of you encounter these problems from where you come from? Do let me know.

©sukku2008

Screwing up my computer

I did the unthinkable and cleaned my registry of Windows Vista Home Premium O.S. There was a lot of conflicts in the system and what did I do? I saved the files that were in conflict on my hard drive and then pressed the clean button. And after that I did defrag with a free software called defragger which I had downloaded. It freed up a lot of space and maybe screwed the system up in the process which was already screwed earlier by CCleaner.

The following morning when I wanted to play my audio CD, the system couldn’t read it. Hey what did I do? I screwed up my system and I also lost my auto play on the process and God know’s what else I have deleted. My word of advice is “DON’T MESS AROUND WITH THE REGISTRY” and what I did was I reinstalled back the registry files that I had in my hard drive and the computer can read my Audio CD but my auto play is still out.

When I tried to do a system restore, I had problem as the last restore point was after the deletion. Now I guess I have to reset my system back to company settings or as when I purchased it. The problem is that I am in Hyderabad and I left my external hard drive at home in Kuala Lumpur.

Not that the system is not working per se, but I somehow have this urge to put back all the drives or other stuff that I have deleted. Isn’t there anyway that I can do that without losing all my data? Let me know, please.

I spend the whole of last evening until midnight trying to search on-line for help but it was of no avail. I will be going back home by the end of this month and then maybe I can back up all my stuff and use the recovery disc which I had created after running my system for the first time to reinstall my windows vista.

I hope I don’t do any crazy stuff until then and be satisfied with the damage that I have caused. So my advice to you again is, if you are using CCleaner, be very careful and don’t touch that registry unless you are an IT geek.