Wikivoyage:Words to avoid

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These are some words to avoid in Wikivoyage guides and listings. They can for instance be hyperbolic, exaggerating the qualities of a destination or venue, vague where an explicit number or statement would be more useful, or excessive; not carrying any meaning on its own.

In general, the desired tone for an article is conversational and informative, lively but concise. Descriptions need to be fair and informative (even if they are sometimes subjective in nature) while avoiding hype suited to an "advertising brochure" for any business, city, or service.

The words listed below are examples only and are presented as a guideline; ultimately the goal is to omit promotional "fluff" which conveys no information while including basic data useful to the traveller.

affordable, cheap, reasonable
Affordable compared to sleeping on the street or in a five-star hotel? What's "reasonable" for a business traveller in London is a barbarous outrage for a backpacker in Thailand. Preferably give exact prices, or at least a price range.
an impressive line up of products
Factually list what type or class of items are for sale in a marketplace, let the readers decide for themselves whether to be impressed.
...and much, much more
Usually tacked onto the end of a list of amenities, where it adds nothing of value. If there's something more that's important enough to be noted, note it—if not, end it here.
approved by TripAdvisor
Or Yelp. Or Facebook. Or Twitter. Or any other random website which relies on user-supplied content instead of sending its staff out to inspect restaurants and hotels under established criteria.
best
Or any similar superlative. Unless you've actually tried all the others, this is a presumptuous comparison.
beautiful sunsets, cool breezes...
In individual local listings, not helpful nor informative as wind, sun and climate are similar across entire regions. Even Cité Soleil, the most miserable slum in Port-au-Prince, Haïti, has sunshine. Make climate observations at the region or country level if there's something notable (such as the annual sunset at the South Pole or the sun never setting on the British Empire). Claims which could be made for any venue ("Delicious food. Amazing scenery. Friendly staff. Great value. Pleasant river breeze. Popular sunset venue. Top place for river and sunset views.") are not worth making. If something's on the waterfront, say so, but don't claim one hotel has a regional monopoly on sunsets.
complimentary
If it's free, then call it "free" and save four syllables.
conveniently located
Fluff. Just say where it is, and what it is close to—preferably metro stations etc, rather than attractions.
currently, this year
As Wikivoyage should be accessible for future readers, prefer during 2014, since 2014, as of 2014 or whatever the current year might be.
entrée
Can cause confusion, meaning the main course or first course depending on where you are—choose another word.
exclusive
What does that mean? $100 cover charge? Say so. Invitation only? Say so.
famous, renowned, award-winning
These are opinions; without knowing whose opinion is being expressed, they're of little use. A minor award in a back issue of an obscure trade journal is not a UNESCO listing. Likewise, if something is historic (or futuristic), explain why. To appear on a national historic register, it's not enough that a place merely be old; notability is established through archival or historical research.
five-star service
Ambiguous. Does this mean an independent authority awarded five stars (if so, which one? there are many rating systems) or is this the establishment's opinion of their own product?
fully equipped
State what it is equipped with, rather than add this promotional fluff.
great for getaways
Any destination can bill itself as great for getaways and short stopovers; what makes this one different or unique?
guide
Prefer a wording that makes clear whether it is a person (tour guide, outfitter, tracker etc), or a written instruction (guidebook, manual etc).
the hotspot for cool people
Vague and meaningless. If a venue "serves college students in their early twenties", "is frequented by businesspeople" (or whatever specific demographic), say so.
ideal
State what exactly makes it ideal.
in (city), minutes away from (another city)
Lists of adjacent cities belong in "go next"; if a town is a suburb of an adjacent city, the article introduction and "get in" sections will say so. No need to repeat the info in each listing.
is located in, is situated in
This is a long way of saying "is in".
it should be noted that...
Go ahead and note it, then.
is steps away
This, like pennies per day, deliberately avoids giving specific numbers—in this case, distances are willfully omitted. If something actually is adjacent to the marina or directly across the street from city hall, say so. Some place three miles beyond the town line is "steps away" or just a short walk only if the traveller wants to hike for an extra hour... each way.
low(est) prices
Instead, provide the prices, or at least some examples of them.
luxurious, true luxury awaits business and leisure travellers
Empty, flowery language. Use a more concrete description instead: what part of the hotel/restaurant/etc. do you find luxurious? Are the curtains made of purple velvet? Is the ceiling painted with gilded murals?
magical
This is meaningless hyperbole as, much like "relaxing" or "romantic". Reserve the word for summaries of ancient mythology, or sleight-of-hand performances.
a Mecca of dining (etc)
Does that mean the BBQ pork and the bacon double cheeseburgers are off the menu? Restrict the phrase Mecca to the sacred city in Saudi Arabia, or for destinations with worldwide significance for some category of travellers.
minutes away
How many minutes, on what transport and under what conditions? Distances are routinely underestimated by promoters of venues. Don't claim that Oshawa to Hamilton is "sixty minutes away" as a 130km (80 mi) trip on a posted 100km/h (60 mph) motorway through Toronto during peak hours. Factually state accurate centre-to-centre road distances, or scheduled durations of rail, airline or ferry journeys.
more information can be found on a web site
Not helpful if one of the project goals is a printable destination guide to be carried while travelling or read offline. Include all key information here in the guide; don't use Wikivoyage as a web link directory.
nearby
Is that across the street, or in some random village in the next county? If something is adjacent, say so, otherwise merely provide the address (or latitude, longitude) for a location or stick to actual, measured distance.
near downtown and main international airport
If a hotel is physically attached to Dorval Airport (or some similarly-sized international air terminal), it is not downtown. Major international airports in big cities are built in far-flung suburbs for a reason: their land requirements are huge. See Wikivoyage:Air travel information for writing about air travel.
near all major attractions
In hotel/motel listings, this is followed by a list of every landmark in a town, everything in the next town and a few points across the county line. (A similar tactic is listing the same motel in three or more different districts in the same city.) At some point, these become geographic impossibilities unless "near" is defined as "in the same country". Indicate the property's exact location and leave it at that.
new, the newest, the latest and greatest
As of what date? A place which was new when the listing was added doesn't remain new forever, yet the listing is in the guide until removed. In some cases, time-sensitive info needs to be in the guide for events which directly affect travel ("Fukushima was hit by a 2011 earthquake", "Rio de Janeiro will host the 2016 Games", "As of 2003, Iraq is a war zone") but these are best used sparingly and dated so that they may be removed when outdated. Instead of newly opened, the opening year is more persistent information.
our / we / us
First-person pronouns are a dead giveaway that the listing is promotional and written by someone with a bias toward the subject. Travelers don't want to know what a hotel's proprietor thinks of the hotel; they want to know what other travelers think of it.
paradise
Utter hyperbole, unless they're going to meet their Maker.
perfect, perfect choice
State precisely what makes it a perfect choice
perfect for romantic getaways
As overused as "loves long walks on the beach" in personal ads (although we may want a "see" or "do" listing for the beach itself). Not helpful without an explanation of why this destination is more romantic than countless others.
premier, première, premium
Empty, flowery language. If a place or business is "first" in some sense, use that sense specifically. Otherwise, avoid this word.
prestigious
According to whom? If this is used for a university with hundreds of years of published research, it is legit; if it is an owner's opinion of their own restaurant or hotel, it's useless.
privileged location
Reads strangely in English, but remarks under "conveniently located" apply.
recommended
If it weren't recommendable, we wouldn't list it in the first place. Simply add descriptive listings.
severe penalties
$100 fine? Imprisonment? Death penalty? Be as specific as possible.
strategic location
Same as conveniently located. Use only in the context of military history.
stunning
used much too frequently of scenery which is likely to appeal to the visitor—could another adjective be used which conveys more of a specific sense of the place being described?
suggested
If it weren't recommendable, we wouldn't list it in the first place. Simply add descriptive listings.
sumptuous
See "luxurious".
a tradition of service and hospitality
A traveller normally describes a place as it was at the time of their visit, without speculation as to whether the service might have been good in the historic past.
travellers should remember that...
Good thing we wrote it down in the guides, then.
unique / unique for (kind of travellers)
State what exactly makes it unique.
walk to leading restaurants
Like "steps away", this deliberately omits distance. All it honestly tells the traveller is that there is no restaurant on-site. Please list restaurants (with their locations) under "Eat" if they're not part of a listed attraction or hotel.
well appointed
Hotel companies love to use this phrase; travellers are still trying to figure out what it means.

See also[edit]