Do you find it hard to discover the ‘right’ word when writing? So do I, sometimes. In trying to improve my own writing, maybe I can help you.
Today’s words: QED, Question Mark, Quick as a wink, Queen.
Synonyms are alternative words that have the power to convey exactly what you’re trying to say.
QED: ‘Quod erat demonstrandum’ is a Latin phrase meaning ‘as has been demonstrated’, which is often applied to mathematical proofs or philosophical arguments when the original proposition has been restated exactly, as the conclusion of the demonstration or completion of the proof. I include it here, as it is sometimes used by writers keen to demonstrate their scientific or logic knowledge. It’s worth bearing in mind, when tempted, that a lot of people have no idea what the phrase really means. In the name of clear communication, it might be better avoided. However, there are a couple of alternatives provided by Roget: ‘argumentation’ and ‘of course’, either of which might be better used than the ancient phrase in a dead language.
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.
Question Mark: a question mark is a grammatical sign used to indicate the preceding sentence is in the form of a query. Recently, the phrase ‘question mark’ has been employed by many journalists hoping to appear clever, but it generally makes them look stupid when used in such sentences as ‘There’s a concern, a question mark, by people and governments from all over, about what Donald Trump’s intentions are.’ We all know what this sentence means, but it’s clumsy and inaccurate. The sentence would be better expressed; ‘There’s a concern shown by people and governments the world over that questions Donald Trump’s intentions.’
However, it’s perfectly legitimate to use ‘question mark’ in some sentences, often as a metaphor for ‘question’; ‘It’s a good thing to hang a question mark on ideas you’ve always taken for granted.’ Or, ‘In all forms of art, the works that make most impact are those that apply a question mark.’
Cliché: a stereotyped or hackneyed expression; a phrase, opinion or other element of language that’s so overused it no longer holds power. However, clichés come into being as the result of their original effective ability to describe a situation or quality in apposite terms. Their use should be sparing: in dialogue, they’re fine, providing the speaker would use them. They are words or expressions we’ve all encountered more times than…Here, I could use a cliché to illustrate what a cliché might be.
Quick as a wink: this is one of several similar expressions that simply mean ‘quick’, ‘rapid’, ‘fast’ or ‘speedy’, and most sentences would be best served by using one of those alternatives to avoid the cliché.
Queen: a deluded woman who believes she has a ‘divine’ right to rule over others; an attractive woman coerced into displaying her body and made-up face as a means of titillating judges in a specious contest; a male engaged in acting and appearing as a female.
I welcome your observations and suggestions here. And, if you’ve enjoyed this post, please use the buttons below to share it with your followers and friends. Thank you.