A Writer’s Bookshelf

An especially common weakness in writing is poor word choice. If you wish to write with clarity and grace, you must be willing to spend some time thinking about the words you use, about their sounds and rhythms, about their connotations, even about their histories Ñ the meanings of the root words from which they are derived, the associations they have acquired through centuries of use. Avoid words that are either too pompous or too colloquial, and beware of jargon. Try to use language that is vivid and precise; a paper that relies on vague and abstract language will be colorless, anonymous, and dull.

Common diction problems include:



Un pensiero su “

  1. I concur; I agree; I feel the same. The English language is a rich and fascinating pool of ideas, history, linguistics and accident. However… you must write for your reader, and in fiction, you must write for your story’s characters. A crime novel featuring a Scouse arsonist will not use the same form of English as an essay on La Gioconda, or a book about venture capital. The language is abundant, so choosing the form that will best engage your reader and get your message across is always possible. Whatever the style, the principle of relishing words and finding the right ones still holds fast.

    Thank you for finding my blog, and for following, although I don’t know who you are. Doesn’t matter – you’re most welcome. Feel free to join the conversation.

    Have a lively day.

    Mi piace


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