The English language is a beautiful and concise language, containing more words to say the same thing than any other language in use today. These alike or similar meaning words are called synonyms. A synonym can be a noun, a verb, an adverb, adjective or preposition.
Using synonyms can spice things up, or tone them down, or worst case, hit the snooze button and kill interest completely with its utter boredom. Depending on which word you choose to use, you can throw in a dash of distinct texture or subtle flavor that can intensify or diminish the way that readers, or listeners,interpret what you are trying to say. Choosing you words carefully can clarify a point quickly and easily.
For instance, “he/she said” is pretty much a “big whoop” statement. it says what you mean, but “snooze”. By changing “said” to “he whispered”, you change the action, the feeling that is implied. Whispering implies something that should not be shared with everyone. Something between the person speaking and the one(s) that he is speaking to. An inner circle.
Changing “said” to “shouted”, paints a different picture entirely.
Your use of a specific word, a tighter word, to describe what you want to say is plain and simple using words to paint a picture. Basic colors can get your message across, but a rainbow of color brings life to the painting. In other words, by choosing a word that expresses a tighter definition for the common word, you can make things much more interesting.
Using a Thesaurus can add a vast array of interest to any and all of your writing projects. But don’t go crazy. Choosing the wrong word could be disastrous steering your reader, or listener to territory you had no intention of going so be sure you know what the word you are using really means.
First and foremost be sure to get a good thesaurus and an equally good dictionary, and cross check when in doubt.
When you are looking for a more concise word start by looking up the familiar word. If you find a word that focuses your meaning, wonderful. If not keep going. find the word most close to what you want to say, look that word up and check the listings for you perfect word.
Back to the example above. A shout can be a yell, a scream, a holler, a bellow or a roar to name a few examples. Each of these words has a different feel and can create a tone all their own in the minds of your reader.
All in all, having a good thesaurus is a vital weapon in any writer, or speaker’s, arsenal. Overlooking them could be the difference between a sale or a rejection.
Originally posted Thursday, July 30, 2009
Picture provided here