The English language contains over 171,000 words. Some of these are homophones (like “affect” and “effect”) or have different spellings in British vs American English (“grey”/”gray”). Picking the right word can be frustrating for a writer!
When it comes to synonyms, there are words that can be used interchangeably but have different connotations. For example, reminisce and remember both mean “look back on fondly” while only reminisce also has the additional meaning of looking upon something from a long time ago (e.g., I don’t “reminisce” about going to school yesterday; however, I do “remember”). So while you might say “I remember [something],” you wouldn’t necessarily say “I reminisced about [something] today.”
Problems when you choose the wrong word
One of the biggest mistakes that writers make is using words incorrectly. When you use the wrong word, it can weaken your writing by:
When you use the wrong word to communicate your intended point, it weakens your writing. Here are a few examples:
- Undermining own credibility
- Confusing readers
- Using the wrong tone for what you’re trying to say
- Meaning on clichés instead of words that convey meaning more efficiently and accurately e.g., “unique” vs “rare” & “in order” vs “firstly.” In addition, being redundant is another way in which using incorrect wording can weaken one’s writing – an example would be repeating oneself redundantly when stating something simply once was sufficient enough
Undermining your credibility
In order to improve the quality of your writing, you need to avoid using words that make it seem like either:
- You didn’t proofread before submitting.
- That you don’t know English very well.To do this, familiarize yourself with 30 commonly confused English words in the following list!
The next time you use the word compliment, think of how it can change its meaning based on who is receiving or what kind of praise. Ryan and Nicky complement each other in work by helping to support their different roles at work!
Using the wrong tone
A cloudy day is not very interesting, but a gray one can be. The difference between writing “It was an overcast day” and “It was a gray day” illustrates this point well.
To write creatively, you should be careful with your word choice. Common phrases such as “dead as a doornail,” “blind like a bat,” and avoiding things like the plague” make writing seem lazy and uncreative.
Every Wednesday at 10 in the morning, we have our midweek 10 a.m. meeting and it is important to attend this weekly event because many key decisions about company operations are made here and if you miss one of these meetings then there may be consequences for your job security as well as future opportunities within the organization itself which can really affect how much money that you make each month so I would suggest not missing any upcoming events like this one especially since they occur once per week on Wednesdays at exactly ten o’clock am sharp or else risk being fired from your post immediately due to negligence regarding critical business proceedings!
And then there’s the issue of redundancy.
Here are a couple of examples: Every Wednesday at 10 in the
The second sentence is redundant because every gift is free. To get even more honed with our word choice: we would use the word “prize” instead of “free”, so this sentence here should be I can’t believe I won a prize!
How do I know I chose the wrong word?
When using a word processor, if you type in something that appears to be incorrect in its context and the program provides suggestions for an alternative right word, keep this is only true when the words are objectively wrong. Grammarly takes it one step further by providing feedback on why these alternatives might not work well either.
If another person edits or proofreads your work, you might get it back with comments like “awk,” “cliché,” and “vague” next to specific words. Follow your editor’s guidance when you find the right words to swap into your piece and if you’re ever unsure of what they meant by a specific comment, just ask.
How to choose the right word
When it comes to choosing the right words, you need specific and clear language that:
- Resonates with your audience.
- Fits the type of writing you’re doing.
- Matches up with tone or style of piece being written across all types including essays, blogs, emails etcetera .
As a general rule, the most specific word is the best choice to use. For example, you could write “All of people should have received an email about spring break protocols,” and it would be correct. But if instead wrote “All students should have receive an email about spring break protocol,” see how much clearer message was? Students are included so they’re a type of person but more specifically only those who were supposed to get this information in our given context.”
When you’re writing for a broad audience, sometimes specificity isn’t the best word choice. Writing to an abstract group like this means using words that your readers will understand and relate to most easily—so if it’s necessary to sacrifice some precision in order make things more accessible, then do so! Precision is important when communicating with people who share similar ideas or knowledge; however, depending on whom you are trying communicate with determines how specific of language should be used.
When a word is correct, but not right
The second sentence uses a much stronger word to communicate that idea. Whether “dislike” or “hate” is the better choice depends on context, but if you’re writing for your blog and want something click-driving and humorous, “I hate tomato soup” can be perfect.
Finding the right word
If you’re not sure of the best word, Grammarly can help. It suggests synonyms to find just the right one for your sentence by providing both similar words and antonyms!
Word choice tips
Increase your vocabulary
The more words you know, the better writer and speaker you become. There are many ways to increase your vocabulary that don’t require spending a fortune on apps or books (although they can help). The simplest way is by reading actively – making note of unknown words and looking them up later. This process will gradually expand both your passive vocabularies which include all the words in any language we understand but aren’t aware of; as well as active-vocabulary: those specific to our knowledge base such as people’s names, places etc.; professions e.g., doctor/police officer/engineer
and objects—countries for example like France or China —words referring to different currencies i.e., dollar $ euro €
Bigger isn’t better
When it comes to picking the right word, simple is often best.
I’ve just learned that there’s a difference between “utilize” and “use.” They mean the same thing with an added connotation of efficient use in case we need to utilize something. Unless this adds clarity, stick with using words like their smaller counterparts: simpler ones for bigger concepts!
The best word might come to you later
If you’re in the middle of writing and can’t think of the right word for your sentence, don’t let that interrupt your flow. Instead write ‘TKTK’ (shorthand for “to come”) where it goes so later on when rereading, fresh eyes are more likely to help find a perfect word.
Edit with a critical eye
When you edit your work, focus on word choice. You should pay attention not just to the words themselves but also how they interact with each other. This process will likely lead you to replace weak and incorrect words for strong ones because it can help eliminate redundancy in sentences as well.
Let Grammarly guide you
By using Grammarly, you can be sure to write your best content. With over 250 million users worldwide, the tool is always available for free and ensures that not only are all of your words properly used but they convey exactly what their intended meaning should come across as. This helps avoid misunderstanding or miscommunication which could result in lost business opportunities!
Replace “Finally” with ‘To conclude’
By using Grammarly, you can be sure to write your best content . With over 250 million users worldwide , the tool is always available for free and ensures that not only are all of your words properly used but they convey exactly what their intended meaning should come across as . This helps avoid misunderstanding or miscommunication which could