Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Common Problems (Part 27 of 50)

Avoid the use of absolutes—unless you mean without exception. You can usually delete the absolute and not change the intended meaning.

* You know how I’ve always felt about going into debt. (Always? Since the moment of birth?)

* All Twinkles ever wanted was… 

* He made his every movement appear as. . . 

* This morning, all he wanted to do. . . 

* Weekends were always busy. (If there was one un-busy weekend, always isn't always.) 

* I walked around with total freedom. 

* Joy is what this life is all about. (Is there nothing else in life?) 

* Every one of my married friends told me. (Are you sure that without exception every married friend told you?) 

* Every human makes mistakes. (Here the absolute is correct.) 

I avoid absolutes 
or delete them when I spot them in writing.

* * * * * * * * * *

Cec's new book, Unleash the Writer Within, is now available.


  1. My husband sometimes says, "Everyone is talking about it," and I tease him, "Oh, have you spoken to every person on the planet?"

    On the other hand, I am ALWAYS guilty of exagerrating to make ALL of my stories more fun. Well...

    1. Jeanette, if you're ALWAYS exaggerating to make ALL of your stories more fun, then you must be a humor writer. It's okay to ALWAYS exaggerate when writing humor. Unless, of course, Cec is reading it. He'll ALWAYS find ways to make it better so you'll never always use exaggeration all the time. He's totally like that. :-)

    2. Hah! My younger son is notorious about absolutes. He refused to agree that I'm the best mom ever because "You never know; we haven't taken a survey of everyone in the world." He wouldn't even admit I'm *his* best mom, and I'm the only one he has. This Mother's Day brought a glorious victory when he gave me a gigantic card awarding me "World's Best Mother" status.

  2. Dear Cecil (and Twila),
    I just discovered this little gold mine chucked full of valuable writing nuggets. Thank you so much.


What are your thoughts?