Saturday, April 19, 2014

Blogging from #AtoZChallenge - Qualifier and Quest Star

Bet you thought I'd have a hard time with Q! Nope. This is one of my favorite writing issues. If you use qualifiers, you're weakening your words, hedging, sitting on the fence. If you've got something to say, say it!

Sometimes, sort of, well, just, maybe, might, quite (oh this one gets me, I use it as an affectation, voice, but it goes too far), bit, somewhat, kind of (kinda - can't let it slip through this way!), very, mostly, pretty

Now sometimes we want to create doubt for solid reasons, but it's important to recognize the difference. Here's a great table from

WillMay, might, could
Forms of “be” (am, is, are, was, were)May be, might have been, may have been
AllMany, most, some, numerous, countless, a majority
Every(Same as “all”)
None/noFew, not many, a small number, hardly any, a minority
AlwaysOften, frequently, commonly, for a long time, usually, sometimes, repeatedly
NeverRarely, infrequently, sporadically, seldom
CertainlyProbably, possibly
ImpossibleUnlikely, improbable, doubtful

Do you find yourself using qualifiers in your writing? Do you use them in real life too? I know I do. It's just not as easy for my inner editor to take them back!

My Q horse was an easy one too. This pretty boy's name is Quest Star. He's a 16yo arab gelding. He's had a rough life and we'll probably never know all of it. When he was young, his owner committed suicide and didn't make any arrangements for someone to take care of Star. He was half-starved when he managed to escape. We think he's had a trailer accident because he's afraid of the trailer when he's alone, but will follow another in easily. He won't eat in the trailer even if you stuff a carrot in his mouth. He's got a scar that runs most of the length of his back and a caved-in cheek. He's a spooky boy, and when he gets scared, he won't listen to his human at all.

Star is also one of the best bred, best conformed horses I've ever owned. He's wonderful to ride as long as he's with another well-behaved horse. He can go any speed from top-ten endurance speeds to nose-to-tail dude rides. He's done two 50 mile rides, one in WY and another near Moab in Utah.

Maybe (darn qualifier) someday we'll figure him out enough to do a 100 miler.


  1. Great post!

    Please visit my blog,

    I'm also participating in the A-Z Challenge, and my theme focuses on YA books and the title of the day starts with the letter of the day!

  2. Too true about the qualifiers. I'm amazed about poor Quest's troubles and yet he can still do endurance races. As a matter of fact, that Arabs can do endurance racing at all amazes me considering how little and delicate they are. I'd figure a warmblood would be better over distance. But I guess it makes sense when you figure human marathon champions all skinny and come from Africa. ;)

    1. There definitely are some delicate arabs, but the good ones have denser bone than other breeds and don't feel delicate at all, especially when they're trying to scale a mountain. These aren't the showring arabs! And most of them aren't spooky either. A job does wonders for their minds. Most of the ones I've trained from the beginning, I get out on the trail within 5-10 rides.
      I enjoyed your blog too!

  3. Yep, definitely use them. Would and could being the biggest problems.

    1. They're hard to avoid. Especially us Americans, always trying too hard not to voice an opinion and insult people. I wonder if European writers have an easier time avoiding them?

  4. I love qualifiers, I am a rebel. Since leaving the univeristy as an adjunct my writing has actually taken a dive because I write in a conversational tone (bloggeritas). It is pretty sad considering I am was an ENG LIT adjunct and have a degree in new media journalism too (which teaches you journalist quality blogging). BAD KRISS! You have been added to my blog list to check! I love it!