Never Use a Large Word When a Diminutive One Will Suffice
Small words have the largest impact. Small words can become the hammer to drive your point home, while big words tend to soften the blow.
Culled from a recent paper: “The panel felt the Senator was being disingenuous.”
What? Lacking in frankness or candor? He prevaricated? Equivocated? Misrepresented? Fabricated? Do any of those words come close to the power of, The panel felt the Senator lied? Everyone understands the word lie. None of the other words carry the clear meaning that lie conveys.
Large words tend to creep in when we write because we’re showing off, or we think our writing sounds better, or we look smarter if we use large words. Trade your syllables for clarity.
Instead of utilize, use.
Trade terminate for end. Don’t eliminate larger words, get rid of them. Don’t substantiate the facts, prove them. People aren’t impecunious, they’re poor. The writer wasn’t assiduous, he took great care. The lady at the DMV wasn’t obstinate, she was stubborn.
No one wants to read the words of a lexiphanicist…