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You know how Lincoln said a “government of the people, by the people, and for the people?” Do you think if he varied that words that the impact would have been the same? Do you think he intended to use the words the way he did? Words have their own space and territory don’t they? Being intentional about the territory of words is definitely something we should consider.
“To preserve word territory, you must recognize the difference between intended and unintended repetition“. (p. 64 Writing Tools) For instance, often in reviews I am tempted to use the words fantastic, intriguing or interesting… and once I start it’s easy to repeat them. I don’t want to do that. If I overuse a word, then it makes the review seem forced and/or boring, I don’t want that. Because no-one wants that! 🙂
Anyways, one of the ways you can be mindful of the words you use is to divide them into categories. Are they function words (said, that), or building block words (house, river, car) or distinctive words (silhouette, jingle)? Remembering that simplification is a good thing, what words or phrases can you use that create a rhythm intentionally? What do you want to do to make sure the words you use are distinctive?
Watch Your Word Patterns
We all have word patterns that we use over and over again. Therefore we need to break that cycle and really look at the words we use. Make them unique. Help your writing stand out. Use a word over again if it helps you make your point, bringing clarity or attention to a thought you need to convey.
You don’t need to mess around with changing how people talk. People often just say things…they don’t always chortle, threaten, opine, or elaborate, just let your said be said. Be deliberate about the other words you use. Repeat what needs it, but otherwise, try to change up your word patterns. Use words that are meaningful and bring attention to your work.