So I’ve been thinking about vocabulary lately. My sister is here visiting and a friend of ours from college is out as well. The other night we were all playing Catch Phrase. It was pretty hilarious. When it’s someone’s turn, he or she automatically raises his or her voice and starts struggling to find the words to describe the catch phrase. And there were some definite moments of struggling! 🙂 It makes me think I need to learn more words. My sister is currently trying to learn sign language. She’s trying to learn a word a day (or something like that). What if we could all learn one new word a day? I don’t think we could store that much information. Not and remember it.
But in writing, you have to use your words. There are times when I’m reviewing a proposal that I have to stop and pull up dictionary.com and check out the meaning of a word I’m not familiar with. Sometimes I think it’s great that people are being creative with their words–other times I end up changing words or phrases to something more understandable for most readers. Not that we can’t all benefit from more vocabulary, but your readers shouldn’t be so lost that they have to keep looking up words (if so, you’ll lose their interest).
Where’s the balance? How many ways can you say something? Several. So, for writers out there, take a good look at what you’re saying and ask yourself if you’re being creative enough. Are you expressing yourself in the best possible way? And throw in a few new words for us to learn while you’re at it.