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: