Words and phrases: Overworked words

in-nuce.com: overworked words
Source: "Calvin and Hobbes," by Bill Watterson
When writing, impose a "time out" on some words.

From Beginnings of Rhetoric and Composition, by Adams Hill:

A writer whose stock of words is small necessarily demands too much work from the few at his command. One whose resources are larger but who is too lazy to profit by them overworks words that are at his tongue's end, and underworks others. 
Even a good writer may have favorite expressions that are constantly getting into his sentences, as King Charles the First's head kept getting into Mr. Dick's “Memorial.”1

MatthewArnold, for example, at one time talked so persistently about “culture” as to make the word a public nuisance; and Emerson had occasion, it is said, to thank a friend for calling his attention to a phrase which he had used too often for the comfort of his readers.

Some words have been overworked for many years. Nice, for example, was condemned by Jane Austen more than three generations ago :
“I am sure," cried Catherine, “I did not mean to say anything wrong; but it is a nice book, and why should not I call it so?"
“Very true,“ said Henry, “and this is a very nice day; and we are taking a very nice walk; and you are two very nice young ladies. Oh, it is a very nice word, indeed! — it does for everything. Originally, perhaps, it was applied only to express neatness, propriety, delicacy, or refinement;—people were nice in their dress, in their sentiments, or their choice. But now every commendation on every subject is comprised in that one word..."
Awfully, which years ago entered the service of the society that calls itself “smart," is still on both sides of the Atlantic a word of all work...

Avoid overworked words.

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