“Words are labels for the things we see and the things we feel. Without such labels we are lost or at least confused.” ~ Garrad Beck
“Words are important. If you cannot say what you mean, you will never mean what you say. And you should always mean what you say.”
Paraphrased from the film, The Last Emperor
Written by Mark Peploe & Bernardo Bertolucci
(The line was based on a quotation from George Bernard Shaw.)
Everyone wishing to write needs to work on their vocabulary by reading all manner of the written word from periodicals, books, and even the lexicon.
As Mark Twain said, “The difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a large matter–it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”
It behooves every writer to grow their vocabulary and not always rely on the same words when writing for the web, poetry, or prose.
Writers by nature must also be avid readers. While listening to Ray Bradbury speaking at a meeting of the writers group, Southwest Manuscriptors, Mr. Bradbury told everyone in attendance to read everything they could get their hands on, the classics, good writing, and even bad writing.
By reading the work of others, it is that writers learn how to write. By reading, do writers find out how to construct sentences, learn tenses, and fine tune consistency while writing.
Commanding a large vocabulary comes with a caveat. The responsibility to use words that intelligibly and distinctly convey your meaning to the reader. You must choose your words wisely from your vocabulary that is well suited for the educational level of the reader.
When writing for most audiences, forget using jargon, use plain English unless you are writing about technology to engineers, or a legal paper read by attorneys. Your language must fit the audience.
During the 1960s, Army technical manuals were written for a person with only an eighth grade education.
With knowledge comes great responsibility in using said knowledge wisely.
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