Don’t Weasel Out – Say What You Mean!

I never heard the expression “weasel word” before but, after some exploration into the meaning, I find I like it very much. A “weasel word” is one that, on the surface, gives a false impression; it may soften a statement or be downright misleading.

The weasel reference implies sucking the meaning out of the word or phrase, the way a weasel sucks the content out of an egg. It is interesting that sources such as Phrase Finder and Wikipedia suggest weasels can’t or don’t suck eggs, but that didn’t stop Shakespeare from sullying the reputation of the poor little beasts:

I can suck melancholy out of a song, as a weazel sucks eggs. – As You Like It, 1600

In my own writing, weasel words appear as passive voice: “had been”, “will be”, “somewhat”, “evidently”, “possibly”. Eliminate the passive or soft words and phrases and my writing becomes much stronger.

I am; I act; Done!

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Don’t Weasel Out – Say What You Mean!

  1. Very interesting, thanks for sharing! I do have W coming up… 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s