Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Words are to Atoms...

Without words, there are no sentences.  Without sentences, there are no paragraphs.  Without paragraphs, there are no chapters.  Without chapters, there is no book.

You can see how words can be important then, can't you?

Words in our books are like atoms in our universe.  They are the basic building blocks which make up everything.  It's understandable, therefore, that we should consider which words we are using in our writing to be certain we are being as succinct and intentional as we are trying to be.
Note: You may be younger than me, you may be older than me; you may read more than I do, or less than I do; but you have surely had different life experiences than I have.  The bottom line is, I may know different words than you do.  If you don't know what a word means, LOOK IT UP!  (Yes, it's that easy!)  Even if you think you can assume its definition by context clues, sometimes it's good to look it up anyway.  I look up plenty of words while I'm reading.  You know what?  That's how I've learned so many words!  It works.  I have even included a dictionary widget in the top left sidebar for your convenience.
I think the worst thing that can happen is that we fall into a comfort zone with the diction we use.  Instead of expanding our lexicons on a regular basis by reading and studying words, we may reach a supposed apex in our knowledge of words and our writing can bottom out into a plateau.  It's important that we continue reading and strive to always improve.  It's a part of being a good writer and a lifelong learner.

Questions to Consider:

  • Which words come to mind when I ask what your favorite words are?
  • Why is it important to have a vast vocabulary?
  • What is the last word you remember looking up?

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