Friday, March 16, 2012

Pick the Perfect Word

One of the most basic skills for every writer is word selection. If you choose the perfect word, then the reader knows exactly what you mean. But if you select the wrong word or wrong use of the word, then the reader veers off the page and begins to wonder what you are saying. It moves the reader in the wrong direction.

Editor Barbara McNichol has written a terrific resource for every author called WORD TRIPPERS, THE ULTIMATE SOURCE FOR CHOOSING THE PERFECT WORD WHEN IT REALLY MATTERS. It matters a great deal in my view. Because English words sound the same, the writer confuses them and uses the wrong one.

In the introduction, Barbara gives three benefits of this resource. "You don't have any:

- Fat reference books to contend with, or

- Delays searching through dense dictionaries, or

- Emergency calls to former grammar teachers!"

Organized alphabetically, McNichol distinguishes each "word tripper" and uses it in a sentence for quick reference. The next time you wonder if you should use it's or it—or numerous other similar words, reach for this resource and you will quickly be on your way to clear writing without tripping. I highly recommend this terrific resource.

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