Monday, March 18, 2013

On Word Choice and the Lack Thereof

One of the most frequent problems I see at the writing center is the inability to think of a word fitting the idea the writer wishes to convey.  Often, my clients have to substitute a word that almost fits because there doesn’t seem to be one that fits their exact definition, which twists the meaning of their sentences and ultimately leaves us both, and most likely the teacher as well, a bit confused and frustrated.

 When we look back in history it seems as if anyone wanting a word just invented it themselves (Shakespeare being the obvious, and most famous, example). Unfortunately, this type of creative enlargement of the English language has fallen out of fashion, at least within the academic world. That said, most people in the academic setting can all nod sympathetically when they hear someone say that there are not enough words in the English language. 

So here are a few words that got lost in the language barrier. Perhaps someone here could make use of them.

 If you're interested in learning a few more, direct your gaze to this nifty site

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