Offering help for writers and language learners, this series of posts is a resource for all word lovers.
This week’s words: Cage. Anaphora. Extremely.
Cage – Roget’s thesaurus lists these alternative words: stable (n), compartment (n), receptacle (n), circumscribe (vb), enclosure (n), enclose (vb), break in (vb), imprison (vb), lock up (n). Under the subheading ‘enclosure’ are a further 69 replacements including envelope, ring, precinct, sheepfold, kraal, circumvallation, and box. Under the subheading ‘enclose’ are another 33 substitutes including fence in, surround, confine, hug, and cuddle.
Let’s look at usage for cage, which can be used as both a noun and a verb:
‘Elvira wiped away a tear as she tried to explain to her loving father that his attempts to protect her placed her in a cage from which she feared there was no escape.’ (n)
‘I cage you to keep the dangers of this world from harming you.’ (vb)
‘If not for the strength of its cage, the lion would roam wild in the zoo, devouring any prey it could find.’ (n)
‘I hate to cage a wild animal and prevent it living the life nature intended.’ (vb)
Figure of speech:
Anaphora: A figure where the same word begins consecutive clauses or sentences.
‘Why belittle her? Why demean her? Why make her life a misery?’
‘Return to your roots, return to those who love you, return to the home you once loved.’
Redundancies are words that serve no semantic purpose. In speech, they act as spacers, giving the speaker time to think. But in writing, except when representing natural conversation, they impede the reader’s progress.
This week’s example: ‘extremely’
‘Georgina felt extremely tired after her marathon run.’ Try; ‘Georgina was exhausted after her marathon run.’ Or; ‘Running the marathon exhausted Georgina.’ Or; ‘Georgina collapsed with exhaustion at the end of her marathon.’
Strong verbs are usually a better writing option than lazy adverbs.
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