A while back I was a member of a writers group and one piece of advice stuck with me. One of the older members told me, "Adjectives will wreck your writing." I work with a writing staff that produces technical research publications. Among other words and phrases frowned upon, we completely banned the word "Important." First of all, the writer has passed up the opportunity to explain why it's important. Also, using the word "important" with regard to a particular subject suggests all the other subjects in the publication are less so. I love the quote attributed to Mark Twain. "Every time you are tempted to include the word 'very' in your manuscript, write instead the word 'damn'. Your editor will delete the word and your writing will be as it should." Another word I try to avoid when possible is "That." When it shows up, if you can take it out and not kill the writing, it always makes it stronger. Oh, and semicolons. Don't get me started on semicolons. I'll admit it's irrational to have a phsychological aversion to a punctuation mark. Folks here at the shop will add one on occasion just to hear me make funny noises. I said don't get me started. Does anyone else have words, phrases, or other they try to avoid?