Do you sometimes struggle to find the ‘right’ word for your writing? I do. Maybe, in helping myself, I can help other writers.
I’ve been posting pieces titled ‘Looking for the Best Word?’ until I reached post 70, at the end of 2017, and decided a different approach could help remotivate me and might be more use to other writers.
Today’s words: Ban/Permit, Dilemma or problem, Mauerbauertraurigkeit,
Ban/Permit, are antonyms. i.e. they mean the opposite of each other. Antonyms can be difficult to discover, as most thesauruses provide synonyms for words but not their opposites. There are several good reference sources, and I use The New Nuttall Dictionary of English Synonyms and Antonyms.
Ban has many synonyms, including exclude, obstruct, restrain, prohibit and disapprove.
Permit also has a number of meanings, including make possible, assent, facilitate, and consent.
Usage for ‘ban’:
‘One way an authority can inadvertently ensure public support for a song, story, or work of art, is for that authority to ban it. Public attitudes to bans generally result in greater interest in and acceptance of the banned item.’
‘As long as the bomb squad are dealing with the unexploded device, there’s a ban on driving vehicles past the site.’
Usage for ‘permit’:
‘Tell a teenager you’ll permit them to do something, and they’ll generally decide not to do it. Such is the rebellious nature of those in that age group.’
‘Once the unexploded bomb had been rendered safe by the bomb squad, vehicles were again permitted to pass the site.’
Commonly confused words:
Dilemma or problem?
You have a problem? In that case, you may not know what to do to solve it, though a solution may well be available.
If, on the other hand, you’re faced with a dilemma, you still have a problem, but have two or more solutions, all of which are equally unattractive.
So, use ‘dilemma’ only when such solutions are present.
Mauerbauertraurigkeit: (German) An inexplicable urge to push people away, even close friends you really like.
I contribute a monthly column to an online magazine, Pandora’s Box Gazette where I also deal with the use of words. To see the most recent, click this link.
I welcome observations and suggestions here. Please use the comments section below for any ideas and thoughts. And, if you’ve found this post useful, why not share it using the buttons provided? Thank you.