Writing “Well”

If, following Orwell in “Politics and the English Language,” we strive to rid our language of hackneyisms, let us start well by starting from “well.”

Consider the following: “…  the YouTube video itself (which was apparently put up not by Lipkin, but by one of his fans) could well be the product of a lone conspiracy theorist. Which makes it all the more remarkable that it has racked up 2.5 million views.”

What does “well” add?

Don’t we add “well” because some respected speakers or writers were fond of inserting gratuitous words [“well,” “indeed,” “quite,” and so on]  into pronouncements?

Well, such trite additions might well make our speech or writing pretentious.

I hereby resolve to use my word-processor to search out uses of well that add words without adding or aiding meaning.

Well might you.


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