… and it’s the difference between lightning (bolt of electricity) and lightening (making lighter).
As writers, it’s important to find just the right word! Here are four ways that I attempt to do just that:
1) Look words up in Visual Thesaurus: A few years ago I discovered the website Visual Thesaurus (www.visualthesaurus.com). Regular users pay an annual subscription, but you can try it out on a trial basis.
2) Go to Mirriamwebster.com: This is not only an online dictionary, but also a thesaurus.
3) Read out loud: Sometimes I don’t realize that I’m using the wrong word until I read my piece out loud. Often the wrong word will seem to jump from the page, almost saying “replace me!”
4) Choose the simple word instead of the complex: My father first told me this tip. He said, “Why use a million-dollar word when a simpler one will do?” The purpose of our writing is to communicate in a way that readers will understand.
How do you find the “perfect” word?
© Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo © Mats Tooming / Dreamstime Stock Photos