Find it hard to discover the ‘right’ word when writing? So do I, sometimes. In working to improve my own writing, maybe I can help you.
Today’s words: Repeatedly, Regalia/Regal, Relative to, Review.
Adverbs: words used to strengthen a weak verb, added to a verb in order to give it more power. Often, the best way to avoid their use is to employ a strong verb instead.
Repeatedly: something that happens or occurs repeatedly makes its appearance on several occasions, frequently, often, many times. ‘I’ve told you repeatedly to stop swearing!’ Could be expressed as ‘I’m tired of telling you to stop swearing.’ Or ‘I’ve made it clear I want you to stop swearing.’
Words oftenmisused: because it’s stolen terms from many languages, English often uses words that appear to mean something similar. However, as wordsmiths, we owe it to our readers to get it right, don’t we?
Regalia is the insignia or emblems of royalty; so ‘royal regalia’ is a tautology and should be avoided. However, certain institutions and organisations have adopted the term ‘regalia’ for their own emblems and insignia, so it may be necessary to add an adjective to distinguish the non-royal items from those that are regal.
Regal means of or belonging to a queen or king; befitting or resembling a king or queen; magnificent; stately.
Plain-LanguageAlternatives 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.
Relative to: this means ‘about’, ‘on’, and it’s better to use those simple words than this pretentious phrase.
Review: a collection of platitudes and sycophantic praise intended to impress an author the reviewing writer hopes to take advantage of; an piece of product praise paid for by the producer; (rarely, but always when written by me) a genuine opinion freely given on a product.
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