Overused Words

Here’s a dictionary of words I think are overused in scientific writing:

  • Mechanism – sometimes means “I don’t know how it works”
  • Putative – possible? Often used with other hedging words.
  • Framework – general term that seems to add nothing
  • Utilize – Usually utilized instead of “use” to inflate writing.
  • Elucidate – a prerequisite for every introduction, which describes important mechanisms that “have yet to be elucidated”
  • Broadly – can usually be omitted without consequence.
  • Extremely – how can everything be extreme?

Another one that shows up all the time is respectively

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