Friday, July 31, 2009

Choice of Words

PLAIN words are more forceful than words less commonly used—juggle has more vigor than prestidigitate.

SHORT words are stronger than long words—end has more directness than terminate.

SAXON words are usually more forceful than Latinistic words—for force, use wars against rather than militate against.

SPECIFIC words are stronger than general words—pressman is more definite than printer.

CONNOTATIVE words, those that suggest more than they say, have more power than ordinary words—"She let herself be married" expresses more than "She married."

EPITHETS, figuratively descriptive words, are more effective than direct names—"Go tell that old fox," has more "punch" than "Go tell that sly fellow." ONOMATOPOETIC words, words that convey the sense by the sound, are more powerful than other words—crash is more effective than cataclysm.

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