Day 20: No-no words

A writer-friend introduced me to a new concept: the no-no word.

That’s a word you’re not allowed to use when you write.

She assigned her elementary students a composition, then told them they were not allowed to use the word was.

There’s a lot of talk going around about was these days. Several bloggers have written about the advisability of using it, and one of my online discussion groups examined the issue.

Should writers use was?

The answer to that question, I believe, is, It depends.

If I can find a more active or specific or colorful word, or a better construction, I use it. If I can’t, I write was.

When my teacher-writer-friend termed was a no-no word, however, and described the restrictions she had put on her students, I decided to step up to the challenge.

I stepped up.

I wrote.

I stepped down.

It was an enlightening ordeal.

Will I post the result?




The image of No made out of jigsaw puzzle pieces used courtesy of Horia Varlan via Flickr, under Creative Commons 2.0 Generic license.