Word Choice: Picking Just the Right Word

Witch word is write?

Ha!  Did you see what I did there?  Of course you did.

Whatever you write, word choice matters.  I dropped a novel back into the library bag today when I read that a local dish was “crappy but satisfying.”  I am so not accepting that both of those words are accurate.  The cup of coffee I am drinking is satisfying. A crappy cup of coffee?  Not satisfying even if it wakes me up.

Word choice matters.

I just finished drating a rebus.  Written for new readers, I wanted the majority of words I used to be at the first grade reading level or below.  That was a real challenge.  I spent a great deal of time looking up words, discoving they were too high, and then selecting a new one.  Surprisingly enough “apple” and “banana” are the same reading level.

A friend who is working on a poem just told me about RhymeZone.  Look a word up, like violet, and first you get the definition.  Then you get the words that rhyme with it.  My favorite part?  You also get examples of the rhyming words in use in either poetry or song.

“Now by some tinkling rivulet,
In mosses mixt with violet.   (“Sir Launcelot and Queen Guinevere” by Tennyson)

Tennyson may have been praised for his word choice, but I can’t see you or I getting by with that one.

Verbs and nouns are also words that need to be carefully chosen.  They paint pictures and you want to use just the right word.  Would an elephant prance, lumber or trudge?  Would a wealthy woman on the Titanic unpack her steamer trunk, her suitcase, or her bag?

Through our words we bring our readers into the worlds that we create.  Selecting the correct word is vital lest they end up in a sea of violets or a sea of violence.


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