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Elevating Word Choice

Hello writers and friends. We talked about creating a message and delivering that message. Now let's talk about the tools that a writer may use while delivering a message. Some may argue that the most valuable asset that a writer has is their ability to create their writing. Writers choose the subject, tone, point of view, etc. in order to tell a story or deliver a message to their readers. I would argue that the most valuable asset a writer has is their awareness and use of language.

Specifically the understanding of words in a language. Another concept that one must understand is diction; the voice or style that a writer uses to convey their message. When a writer combines their awareness of language and diction, a powerful phenomenon occurs. Not only do you know what your words mean but you know how to use them. You know when writing your piece that the reader on the other side of the page or screen will be able to understand your message clearly. You have the ability to effectively communicate the meaning of your message with minimal confusion. If you're interested in elevating your writing then you must start with elevating your words.

Now, word choice can be a beast. It requires time, attention, and research. Pick up your dictionary of choice and get to it. First, find the word weary. Next, find the word beaten. Then, find the word fatigued. These three words have something in common, what is it?

They're adjectives! Yes, one way to elevate word choice is by focusing and using the proper adjectives to describe the correct meaning in a sentence. Let's take a look at this sentence: She had her tired eyes on the window before setting them on the newscast. Replace the word "tired" with each adjective you previously found before the word "eyes" in the sentence.

Sentence 1: She had her weary eyes on the window before setting them on the newscast.

Sentence 2: She had her beaten eyes on the window before setting them on the newscast.

Sentence 3: She had her fatigued eyes on the window before setting them on the newscast.

Are these sentences technically correct? Yes. However, each one sets a different tone or reveals information about the subject that informs the reader of author intent.

Understanding synonyms of words or the implied meaning of them will help writers choose words they want to say instead of writing words that are simple to read. Just because it's correct doesn't mean it's effective. Consider your subject, style, and tone when examining word choice. Expanding your vocabulary will be an asset to you as a writer.

Consider: Do I have enough understanding of vocabulary to elevate my word choice?

Conversation: What are some practical ways to expand vocabulary?

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