I used to remember things by making a few simple lists and filing them according to organizations I belong to, contracts I’ve signed, bank and credit card statements, favorite travel locations, favorite hotels, rejection letters, published clips, etc. Most of those file folders are now obsolete since I have most everything stored electronically. Now my lists are in folders on my laptop and my office desktop. Some of these lists are usernames, passwords, emails, websites, blog sites, handles, and tweeter trends. So I decided to downsize and cull folders from my file cabinet. I barely made a dent before my vision started to blur. It was easier to just shred a file folder without looking inside. Out of sight, out of mind, right? But then I saw a folder labeled “Why Write This When You Can Write That.” Inside was a list of favorite words I had collected over time. So, I’ve decided to share a few:
Why use “overabundance” when you’ve got “plethora”? Plethora is three syllables instead of five and although at first it sounds like a lisp, it ends up sounding rhythmic, as long as you don’t spit.
Why write “make worse” when you can write “exacerbate”? Less is more.
Why write “bit” when you can write “soupçon”? Soupçon is rarely used, but for some reason it makes me think of Andy Warhol and I chuckle. Go figure.
Why write “horrible” when you can write “odious”? Horrible is just bad. Odious is loathsome, revolting, and despicable.
Why write “threatening” when you can write “ominous”? Ominous immediately brings to mind storm clouds brewing and impending danger.
Why write “jumble” when you can write “welter”? Welter has a stronger connotation of turmoil than jumble.
Why write “bitter or “angry” when you can write “acrimonious”? Bitter or angry are just glossy, whereas acrimonious makes you stop and think how irate one really is.
Why write “unexciting” when you can write “insipid”? Someone who refused to give their real name reviewed one of my books on Amazon, calling my writing insipid. I commented by thanking her for adding another word to my favorite list. I was also going to tell told her (I knew it was a “her” because the statement was so catty) that it was cowardly not to use her real name, but I deleted that last comment before I posted. Catty is as catty does.
Why write “many,” when you can write “myriad”? Plus, myriad doesn’t need the preposition “of”. Many of my blogs topics are too quirky for words. My myriad blog topics are too quirky for words.
Why write, “his mother wrapped him in a soft blanket,” when you can write, “his mother wrapped him swaddling clothes”? The gospel writers didn’t copyright this word. It should be used more often. So wrap yourself in a swaddling Snuggie, sit by the fire, and have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Kathleen Kaska, Marketing Director