When writing, do you have problems discovering the ‘right’ word? I do, sometimes. In trying to improve my own work, perhaps I can help others.
Today’s words: Wit, Warn in advance, Words fail me, Word.
Synonyms are alternative words that have the power to convey exactly what you’re trying to say.
Wit: Roget lists these subheadings; intelligence, humourist, wit, and ridiculousness. Under the subheading ‘wit’ it lists a further 91 suggestions including smartness, badinage, sparkle, humour, dryness, waggishness, flippancy, jesting, farce, satire, irony, and wordplay.
Usage for Wit:
‘There were once people who carried natural wit with flair; people like Noel Coward, Mae West, and Oscar Wilde, but now we have leaders and politicians whose idea of wit consists of blunt insult and cruel, dismissive, abuse.’
I leave it to you, and your sense of humour, to substitute ‘wit’ here.
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.
Warn in advance: a warning that appears after the event is no warning at all; rather it is often a matter of stating the obvious. A warning is, by its very nature, a statement made prior to an event, given in the hope of avoiding some disaster befalling the subject. We can use ‘warn’ entirely on its own to greater effect.
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.
Words fail me: this expression means that the speaker is bereft of the appropriate language needed to state his/her true feelings. But, in common with all clichés, it has lost its power from overuse. An alternative expression ‘I don’t know what to say!’ has become equally clichéd.
We might try; ‘It’s difficult to believe you just said/did that.’ Or, alternatively, we might show the reader the speaker’s feelings by describing a display of emotion. ‘When he heard about Joan’s infidelity, Nathan sank to his knees and cupped his face in both his hands.’ I’m sure you can contrive a better example than this; otherwise I’ve been wasting my time for the past 55 weeks of this series!
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.
Word: a device used by a politician to distort the truth; something with entirely arbitrary meaning to the ignorant; a collection of alphabet letters defined in a specific way that is utterly ignored by a liar.
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.