Sunday, February 6, 2011

Five Dollar Words

Another crime of pretentious writing: using a five dollar word when a fifty cent word will suffice.

Never try to impress your readers. Most of them are at least as smart as you are and they will instantly catch any misused or misapplied word. If you think otherwise, you are either arrogant or a narcissist.

Worse, it only takes one misused word to make you look like an intellectual pretender. That's right: a 2,000 word blog post--or even a 200,000 word novel--can come crashing down all around you with just a single reached-for word.

Don't press. Use language that's within easy reach.