“The words of my book nothing, the drift of it everything.”
— Walt Whitman
You’re a writer. Don’t be a jargon-peddling, slang-spewing, colloquialism-bantering quibbler….because your readers just might give up on you. How do you avoid those things? Start by figuring out what they are…
Jargon (type of shorthand between a closed group): See examples.
Slang (casual language; playful and trendy): See an article on the why-nots.
Colloquialism (words that are region-specific): See the definition.
With these now safely under your belt of understanding, your readers will thank you. Go forth, dear writer!
“We believe the greater the vocabulary, the more concise the writing. Unfortunately, readers might not understand what you write. The definitions for some words listed are not the “common” meanings; we have chosen to focus on the words and meanings used to impress audiences.
Serious readers enjoy new words and writers love using the rare greats. Reading teaches vocabulary as we study context at all levels: elemental grammar, plot, setting, and more. Readers thrill at the discovery of new words; writers should thrill at using them wisely. There is more to words than winning at Scrabble™.”
“abrogate (v) – void, do away with, repeal
abscond (v) – to depart secretly
abstemious (adj) – moderate in consumption
brook (v) – to endure, tolerate
bucolic (adj) – rustic, pastoral, natural; simple
celerity (n) – speed, rapidity
censure (v) – to rebuke officially
chary (adj) – wary, cautious
diffuse (adj) – spread out, wide-ranging; using too many words
dilate (v) – expand
dilatory (adj) – delaying
enervate (v) – to weaken, to drain, to take vitality from
engender (v) – to create, to produce, to cause
feign (v) – to pretend, act, deceive
fervent (adj) – emotional; zealous
fester (v) – ulcerate; rankle. festering (v)
garner (v) – gather, store up
garrulity (n) – talkativeness
impervious (adj) – resistant, strong, incapable of being affected
impalpable (adj) – imperceptible, intangible
jejune (adj) – poor; unsatisfying
jetsam (n) – object tossed overboard to lighten a ship
kinematic (adj) – relating to motion
knavery (n) – untrustworthiness; lack of principles
libidinous (adj) – lustful
licentious (adj) – sexually immoral
mellifluous (adj) – sweet like/as honey
mendacious (adj) – dishonest. mendacity (n)
nebulous (adj) – vague, cloudy, murky; lacking form
neologism (n) – a new word or usage
neophyte (n) – convert; beginner, novice
obfuscate (v) – to make confusing; to mislead
objurgate (v) – to scold
paucity (n) – scarcity; lack
pedagogue (n) – narrow-minded teacher
quaff (v) – to drink; to quench thirst
qualm (n) – misgiving, reservation
refutation (n) – disproof of opponents arguments
reciprocal (adj) – mutual, shared, exchanged in kind
sanction (n/v) – permission, authorized; a penalty
sanguine (adj) – cheerful; hopeful
sapient (adj) – wise; shrewd
taciturn (adj) – silent; not fond of talking
tantamount (adj) – equivalent in effect or value
taut (adj) – tight, tense
ubiquitous (adj) – everywhere, widespread
ulterior (adj) – unstated; hidden
venerate (v) – to respect. veneration (n)
veracity (n) – truthfulness, honesty
wangle (v) – bring about by manipulation
welter (n/v) – turmoil; to roll, to tumble
xenophobe (n) – one afraid of strangers
xyloid (adj) – like wood
yammer (v) – to talk with a sad tone
zymotic (adj) – of fermentation; caused by disease”
First and most important, if you’re overly concerned about what others will think, don’t try your hand at funny . . . . stay true to your voice and integrity.
Jerry Seinfield wasn’t funny because he could do impersonations, or was overly animated or creative. He was funny because he told the truth about the mundane….
…when there was report after report about the Occupy Movement marching on streets all over the nation, I wrote Occupy Marches on Sesame Street—twentysomething angst taking on the puppets who lied to them first.
Taking cliches to the extreme is the bedrock to satire.
(First, see Commandments 1 and 3.) Metaphors and similes are to funny as Hugh Grant is to romantic comedy.”
To read the entire article by Joe Bunting, click here.
Even writers of novels will run across the need to write a poem. Take J.K. Rowling for instance—how many poems and lyrics lace the pages of her hit series Harry Potter?Here are some quick links to help poets on their journey:
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