Tip #20: Don’t Worry About Big Words

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Brian's Writing Tip #35: Don't Worry About Using Big WordsDon’t worry about using big, impressive words. Worry about using the right word. There is no intrinsic value in obscure, multi-syllabic words (unless you’re writing an SAT essay). That doesn’t mean you should avoid fancy words either:  intrinsic, obscure, and multi-syllabic, for example, are good, fancy words. Don’t choose a word just to wow the reader. Choose the word that best expresses your meaning. Choose the word that fits the tone of your paper and is appropriate for your audience. Choose the word that paints the clearest picture, expresses the precise meaning, and evokes the proper feeling. And if two words seem to work equally well, choose the one that is simpler and better known.

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About the Author

Brian Wasko

Brian Wasko

Brian is the founder and president of WriteAtHome.com. One of his passions is to teach young people how to write better.

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  1. vern yamane
    vern yamane04-01-2016

    I guess it all depends on why you are writing. If it is simple to share what is in your heart, you’ll write with that purpose in mind. Are you still active in your church? For me writing is my outlet for the ministry. I am not a TV or Radio personality but I have a dream and that is to use the internet media platform to do this. per Michael Hyatt Platform “Getting Noticed in a Noisy World”
    Thank you for your posts.

  2. Roberta Gallant
    Roberta Gallant05-07-2014

    People abuse to-be verbs in their writing, and they need to stop abusing them now.
    They should always use strong verbs, not weak verbs when they write. Show, do not tell!

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