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  • Writer's pictureLeah Geller

Finding the right words

Updated: Apr 22, 2022

It's important to choose words that are common and familiar to your reader whenever possible. This is especially true if you're communicating complex subject matter, such as topics related to health, science, engineering or research.

I’ll begin with one of my favourite quotes, by language experts Richard Lederer and Richard Dowis:


“Contrary to what some people seem to believe, simple writing is not the product of simple minds. A simple, unpretentious style has both grace and power. By not calling attention to itself, it allows the reader to focus on the message.”


One of the ways you can communicate your work clearly to a general audience is by avoiding unnecessarily inflated words. Instead, I encourage you to identify a commonly used term to replace it. That way, the reader can focus on what you’re communicating, rather than the language itself.


Below are a few inflated words. Can you identify a more familiar, commonly used word for each?


utilize

uncomplicated

erroneous

circumscribe

facilitate

subsequent to


What are some inflated words that you regularly see? How could you replace them?






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