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 other writers.
Today’s words: Taboo, Time period, Temper tantrum, Tory.
Synonyms are alternative words that have the power to convey exactly what you’re trying to say.
Taboo: Roget provides four sub-headings; set apart, exclude, prohibited, and bewitch. Under ‘prohibited’ are listed another 30 suggested alternatives including forbidden, barred, banned, outlawed, frowned on, unmentionable, and ostracized.
Usage for Taboo:
‘Although death is an inevitable consequence of life, as a topic of discussion it is taboo in many societies.’ We could express the same sense by using ‘forbidden’, ‘barred’, ‘banned’, ‘unmentionable’, and ‘frowned on’, depending on the level of severity we wish to express.
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.
Time period: Time, ah time; that elastic, unbending, artificial, crucial, and ultimately depressing quality that so often seems to rule our lives! This expression, however, is just plain silly. We can use ‘time’ on its own, or a period (either specified or not) alone to express the same thing, so their use together is a tautology and should be avoided.
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.
What is a tantrum other than the expression of lost temper? We don’t need to add ‘temper’ to tantrum, as the word works perfectly on its own.
And, my own humorous, metaphorical, and often irreverent, thought-provoking, and controversial definitions of some common words for your entertainment, which I list under The Delusional Dictionary.
Tory: an often deluded individual who confuses business dogma with social advantage; frequently a good person who allows ignorance to overrule both compassion and the realities of poverty in order to make him/her feel better about a lack of kindness; in the case of a politician, a stubborn insistence on dogma over fact, unless such dogma adversely impacts on the ability to make money from the disadvantaged; an undemocratic movement aimed at maintaining the rich at the expense of those less well off.
Language learners may find this link a useful aid for pronunciation, and there’s a great group page on Facebook here.
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