There are a couple short lists of "don'ts" that may be of interest in the
book The Worst Is Over: Verbal First Aid to Calm, Relieve Pain, Promote
Healing and Save Lives by Judith Acosta and Judith Simon Prager (Jodere
Group, 2002).  See pages 87 and 92.

This book also contains many suggestions for recommended wording
throughout the text.  Some of those are summarized in a table on pages

Hope this helps,

Melanie Wilson, MLS
Portland, OR

> Educator preparing a presentation on skills for compassionate
> communication
> with patients.  She has specifically asked for tips / guidance on "using
> verbal softeners" and for any suggested lists of "never words," or words
> to
> be avoided.  I can find no end to communication-skills-type information,
> examples of scripts, etc., but no such lists or the use of the term
> "verbal
> softener" except in general customer-service literature (which I will
> include).  Anyone have anything up their sleeve?  Thanks!
> Julie Stielstra, MLS
> Manager, Knowledge Resource Library
> Central DuPage Hospital
> 25 N Winfield Rd
> Winfield, IL 60190
> phone 630-933-4536
> fax     630-933-4530
> email jstielstra [ at ]
> " mean in anything; never be false; never be cruel. Avoid those
> three vices...and I can always be hopeful of you."  -- Betsy Trotwood to
> David Copperfield (Charles Dickens)