The #Write #Word? Post 37

Thanks to for the means to make this word cloud.

Struggle to find the ‘right’ word for your writing? Occasionally, so do I. Perhaps, in trying to improve my own work, I can help you.

Today’s words: Dabble, Disappear from sight, Due to the fact that, Dadirri, Doctor.

Synonyms are alternative words that have the power to convey exactly what you’re trying to say.

Dabble: Roget lists only three sub-headings; moisten, experiment, and be inactive. As writers, we’re most likely to overdo the ‘experiment’ definition. Under ‘experiment’ are a further 48 suggestions including test, try, try out, give a trial, attempt, sample, and taste.

Usage for Dabble:

‘Jacob’s friends joked that he was prone to dabble in the dark arts. None of them knew he was an accomplished and senior Black Witch.’

Try to construct a sentence or two to produce the same meaning without using ‘dabble’.

Redundancies: words serving no purpose. In speech they’re spacers, giving the speaker time to think. But in writing they slow the reader’s progress.

Disappear from sight: if something has disappeared, it is no longer visible; it cannot be seen. So, ‘from sight’ is an unnecessary modifier that could make your word count too high. Best get rid; leave ‘disappear’ to work unaided.

Plain-Language Alternatives for Wordy Phrases: some writers, especially those new to the craft, use more words than necessary. We can often substitute a single word for a phrase.

Due to the fact that: this is a wordy way to say ‘because’. It’s archaic and a little pretentious, so best avoided if you want to keep your readers.

Untranslatable emotions: The world’s languages contain numerous words for emotions (and other things) for which English has no equivalent. Most people know ‘schadenfreude’, from German, and ‘frisson’, from French, but there are more, and I introduce some here from time to time.

Dadirri (Australian aboriginal) a deep, spiritual act of reflective and respectful listening. Something sadly lacking in the modern world, most of the time.

And, my own humorous, metaphorical, and sometimes irreverent and controversial definitions of some common words for your entertainment, which I list under The Delusional Dictionary.

Doctor: anyone who can legitimately place ‘PhD’ after their name, regardless of the field of study involved in gaining that honour; a person who can render you entirely naked entirely legally; someone for whom the power of life and death is an excuse to deny you your opinions and choices, especially on the nature and timing of your own death.

Language learners may find this link a useful aid for pronunciation, and there’s a great group page on Facebook here.

I contribute a column to a monthly online magazine, Pandora’s Box Gazette, where I also deal with the use of words. For the most recent, please click here.

I’m ending this series with a final alphabetical run and will then close this chain of posts and move on to something new. I’ll have produced more than a year of these word posts by then. The series will remain available in the archive, should anyone wish to use it.

Your observations and suggestions are welcome in the comments section below. And, if you’ve enjoyed this post, please use the buttons below to share it with your friends. Thank you.