Hype Adjectives

Overstatements and inflated language are common in modern academic style, but most of them are clutter. The authors use them to impress the reader, but the effective is often the opposite: the reader loses trust in academics’ writing.

The authors of a recent JAMA article put together a list of hype adjectives, and we highlighted some of the worst. Be very careful to not overuse them; the readers sense exaggerations and and become suspicious of your prose.

compelling, critical, crucial, essential, foundational, fundamental, imperative, important, indispensable, invaluable, key, major, paramount, pivotal, significant, strategic, timely, ultimate, urgent, and vital.

creative, emerging, first, groundbreaking, innovative, latest, novel, revolutionary, unique, unparalleled, and unprecedented.

accurate, advanced, careful, cohesive, detailed, nuanced, powerful, quality, reproducible, rigorous, robust, scientific, sophisticated, strong, and systematic.

ample, biggest, broad, comprehensive, considerable, deeper, diverse, enormous, expansive, extensive, fastest, greatest, huge, immediate, immense, interdisciplinary, international, interprofessional, largest, massive, multidisciplinary, myriad, overwhelming, substantial, top, transdisciplinary, tremendous, and vast.

accessible, actionable, deployable, durable, easy, effective, efficacious, efficient, generalizable, ideal, impactful, intuitive, meaningful, productive, ready, relevant, rich, safer, scalable, seamless, sustainable, synergistic, tailored, tangible, transformative, and user-friendly.

ambitious, collegial, dedicated, exceptional, experienced, intellectual, longstanding, motivated, premier, prestigious, promising, qualified, renowned, senior, skilled, stellar, successful, talented, and vibrant.

attractive, confident, exciting, incredible, interesting, intriguing, notable, outstanding, remarkable, and surprising.

alarming, daunting, desperate, devastating, dire, dismal, elusive, stark, unanswered, and unmet.

From JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(8):e2228676.

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