Finding the right word and best tone for the reader, being heard, being understood – works best when we arouse readers with our best words to describe what we mean. As we spend less face-to-face time with everyone, accuracy and clarity in written communications grow more critical. Miss-steps potentially become more dangerous to relationships and business at hand. E-mail is expedient-mail but often ineffective and possibly harmful, or rude, or all of those.
Hitting sendcannot be recast or retrieved – often creating opportunities to apologize, begging forgiveness, but we should have better reasons for our follow-up calls.
I was explaining recently why I keep my thesaurus always open, as is Grammarly. Their question, “Do you just look for another word to replace a frequently over-used one?” Sometimes yes. More often, not so much a challenge finding ‘another word,’ as it is to select ‘the right word’ or some sleight of hand turning an artless phrase inside out – bettering the meaning while adding value.
At times it’s just plugging in replacement placeholder words while waiting for the arrival in my mind of a far better way to say it. Clarity means transparency – no fog, nor hazy meaning, nor obfuscation – so a writer’s audience knows squarely what we meant and understands exactly how we meant it.
When we aim for better words, the more exact clear meaning, we entertain the reader with more engaging informative reading. Exceptional word choices don’t make a better-informed roadmap; they make for superior semiotic/road signs. Harnessing better words allows well-built sentences to run without running on while planting ideas in readers.
Everyone is rushed – but expedient rarely translates to effective.