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Chapter 5. Watch Out for Weed Words > What is a Weed Word?

What is a Weed Word?

A weed word is any word used as a subject of a sentence that is not a seed noun. Many weed words are called abstract nouns. Abstract nouns name concepts — such as fondness, secret, fate, or respect. Weed words do not create clear visual pictures for readers, because they are feelings and ideas rather than concrete objects. Weed words do not have substance or occupy space as seed nouns do. Readers can understand your message much faster when they can see a clear picture in their minds.

Use weed words as subjects in only twenty percent of your sentences. When you don’t overuse them, they provide variety, and you can use them to express broader, more abstract ideas. For this reason, many topic sentences use weed words as subjects.


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