Join Judy Steiner-Williams for an in-depth discussion in this video How to choose meaningful words, part of Writing in Plain English.
- Quick, define several, few, and stuff.…Okay, you defined them.…And you know exactly how many volunteers as in…get several volunteers.…You know exactly how many extra days are being requested in…I need a few extra days to finish the report.…And you have that specific office supply list ready to fill…with the instructions get some office supply stuff.…The opposite of specific is vague.…That's what those words are.…
Meaningless because they're vague.…Plain English words are precise…because the reader knows the exact meaning.…A dozen volunteers, three extra days,…and pens, paperclips, and pads of paper.…Now let's look at these degree words.…Very, as in very happy.…Happy's happy.…Extreme happiness has stronger words,…enlighted or ecstatic maybe.…I'm a fan of Mark Twain quotes…and he has a perfect one for very…but I'm paraphrasing to avoid a curse word.…
The exact quote is at this web address.…"Substitute "darn" every time you're inclined…"to write "very".…"Your editor will delete it…"and the writing will be just as it should be."…
If you can write in plain English, you can save time, save money, and save face in communications. Start watching to learn how to make your writing more "plain": stronger, clearer, and more concise.
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- Understanding plain English
- Catching mistakes by reading aloud
- Simplifying sentences
- Using strong verbs and meaningful words
- Avoiding corporate jargon
- Finding the right voice and tone
- Editing flow and content
- Writing in a conversational style