Archive for August, 2013

Crutch words

Early in my career I was a radio announcer.

My shows were recorded and I would sit down and listen to them with producers.

They would point out things I needed to improve on.

One of the things they looked for were my “crutch words”.  Words I habitually leaned on to fill the nervous holes and gaps while talking.  Crutch words did not improve the show, and often annoyed listeners.  So it was important to avoid them.

My days as a radio announcer ended long ago, but I still have the habit of noticing my “crutch words” while talking.

Try paying close attention to the words you use in your next few conversations. Notice if there are some words you seem to lean on.  Examine those words to see if they are helping make your point – or, like moths flitting around a light, just distracting.

“The limits of my language means the limits of my world.”
― Ludwig Wittgenstein

Mark Tollefson
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