The Weight of Words Wrest Heavily on the Blog

Weight - Heavy by 84264 CC0 Public Domain from Pixabay

We’re always weigh­ing our words and trying to choose the best one”. How True. One of the trials and tribu­la­tions the writer exper­i­ences are about the right words to use. The weight of words can be hard to wrestle with. In the modern world with all the tools avail­able there are dozens of tools telling us the ways we should or should not say things. All a part of the weight of words.

 

Million Words

 

How heavy are words? The weight of words does matter, especially given the choices avail­able in the English language.

More than a million words exist in the English language. One of the greatest pleas­ures I have in life is discov­er­ing words. Ever since child­hood I have had a constant compan­ion wherever I have been, a diction­ary. I love opening it at a page at random, select­ing a word at random. Whether the word is one I am famil­i­ar with or new I read and re-read the defin­i­tion to aid under­stand­ing.

weight of words - Landed Estate by ToanNguyen CC0 Public Domain from PixabayOpening the diction­ary, randomly, I find:

Downdraught ~ Noun ~ A downward current or draught of air.

I knew that, but it is good to refresh the memory. Flip on a few more pages. Another:

Latifundium ~ Noun ~ Plural is latifun­dia ~ A large landed estate in ancient Rome, typic­ally worked by slaves. More recently used to relate to simil­ar estates in Spain or Latin America. Origin Latin, partially via Spanish.

Ah! Immediately. There it is, a word the spell check­er is unfamil­i­ar with. The famil­i­ar red squiggle appears under the word. It is spelt correctly. 

 

 

Weight of Words

 

Do you have a complex about long or unusu­al words? Trouble is there has been so much noise intim­at­ing that the use of long words is incon­sist­ent with plain English. I love words, so that would make me a logophile. There we go intro­du­cing anoth­er uncom­mon word into the conver­sa­tion. Yet I also see no reason why a writer, whatever their genre, shouldn’t help to expand the vocab­u­lary of their reader.

Because I love words I believe that we should use them, but do so in a way that enhances the knowledge of our audience. When you encounter a word you don’t under­stand then look it up, under­stand it, know how to use it, then use it in a sentence (in your mind). Just because a famous author used a word doesn’t mean that usage was correct. Today with Google at hand it is easy to look it up.

As long as uncom­mon words are intro­duced in context then they should not phase the reader.

 

Dare you Use them?

 

To my mind, the point of having words is to use them. I am never likely to construct a sentence where I will be able to use the word latifun­di­um properly in context. It may help me answer a Jeopardy clue or pub quiz, that may be all. The diction­ary is full of words that have every­day uses, from simple to complex, but dare you use them? That is a part of the challenge of writing, assess­ing the weight of words and using them appro­pri­ately.

Complex byHypnoArt CC0 Public Domain from Pixabay

Most writing advice tells people to keep their writing simple. There seems a current require­ment to dumb-down everything. “Is your writing suitable for an 11-year-old to read and under­stand?” is a question I have seen frequently asked. The simple answer. No, we are all adults here — many having degrees, post gradu­ate awards and special­ist knowledge built over years in our respect­ive careers.

If you are writing for children then age appro­pri­ate writing certainly applies. There are many questions a blogger will write about that an 11 year old will never read. Why be limited by the language of an 11 year old? I am not saying that writing should be full of jargon and incom­pre­hens­ible words. There is always a comprom­ise to be made in the name of clarity.  Writers should always seek to clari­fy and explain.

 

Be Clear to Your Audience

 

Clarity is one of the first challenges any writer faces. Of all the writing advice that is avail­able this is a constant. It is about using the right word for the right job in all instances. In part the delib­er­ate selec­tion of words are being wrested from the writer’s hands, by modern demands to keep the language simple.

An 11 year old will not be reading that business report so it is permiss­ible to use more complex words. Words like bespoke, enhance, and glitch are accept­able for every­day use. Other words like ‘codicil,’ ‘arbit­rage,’ or ‘imputed interest’ are more technic­al in nature and need to be explained when used.

Who is your audience? If every­one reading a document is a special­ist then technic­al terms of the profes­sion may be used. If you are writing a blog (even one for a special­ist audience) you can be sure that lay-people will at some time encounter it. Do you accom­mod­ate them? That is something you will have to decide. Whether or not you decide to use technic­al language your writing should other­wise be clear and compre­hens­ible.

The weight of words wrest heavily on the writer’s shoulders. They are under so much pressure to select the right ones. Be clear, concise, and at the right level so every reader can under­stand and learn.

 

Conversational Voice

 

ConversationOne of the best tactics for the blogger is to make their work conver­sa­tion­al, a little person­al. In that respect it becomes one profes­sion­al speak­ing to anoth­er, knowledge sharing. Just like, the blogger and their reader in a small meeting talking togeth­er.

Obviously this isn’t the case, the reality is the writer is doing all the talking. They anticip­ate the questions the reader may ask, and provide the answers, just as the reader is forming the question in their mind. It is for this reason good blog posts person­al­ise the knowledge. “You may think…” and “I have found…” are the types of phrases found in blog content. This is the use of conver­sa­tion­al voice.

 

Value of Learning

 

The key aspect of all blogs is that they are a learn­ing device, they facil­it­ate knowledge trans­fer.

The theme of this blog “helping people how to turn their Blog into a power­ful resource”. I do this by helping them commu­nic­ate more effect­ively, using the power of the written and spoken word. I also discuss social media, because of how it can help bloggers and small business grow.

My intent is leaning on a decade of on-line writing and editing exper­i­ence to help people empower their commu­nic­a­tions skills. I have been creat­ing and editing web content for a variety of clients in diverse indus­tries, helping them improve their SEO, ensur­ing the market­ing message they provide is both power­ful and consist­ent.

Blogging about blogging, or meta-blogging, is something I found my groove in because people kept asking me for tips on how they may improve their writing or for ways to improve their blog.  As long as this site contin­ues the focus will remain on learn­ing.

 

Readability

 

Any serious writer will, at some point, ask the question how can they improve the readab­il­ity of their work? To under­stand this there seem to be a large number of variables at work, includ­ing:

  • Sentence length
  • Abstractions
  • Excessive detail
  • Passive voice
  • Use of complex words
  • Status enhance­ment
  • Prolonging words
  • Lacking detail
  • Dependent clauses
  • Nominalisation

If you follow all the advice on use of the English language you will be writing short sentences,  construc­ted of easily under­stood words. The problem with only using short sentences is that the work has a tendency to become very staccato, full of short, sharp, sentences, punctu­ated only by the full stop.

There is nothing wrong with long sentences or complex words, but writing is best under­stood when elements are mixed togeth­er. Complex words and long sentences are as essen­tial as short ones. 

A place exists for abstrac­tions, they enable stories to be more imagin­at­ive, paint a picture. They may have a place in fiction­al stories. The problem, most writers use this device to show how clever they are. Abstractions may prove neces­sary, for paint­ing the majest­ic sunset over the Tuscan hills, but become too pompous for a business report.

 

Creativity

CreativeYet factu­al writing also needs to be creat­ive. Have you ever been in a business meeting where every­one is hiding the fact that they are bored with the proceed­ings? The reason, the report being discussed has been written without any creativ­ity. I agree, with some subjects it is diffi­cult to write creat­ively about cold hard facts. The problem with business reports is that they often report the same inform­a­tion (with minor tweaks) month after month. Hence the boredom.

Such writers need to be imagin­at­ive and select­ive concern­ing the content of their reports. Find a fact that matters to the business and highlight it. Discuss that, not mundane, routine, inform­a­tion.

The main focus of this mater­i­al is looking at the challenges of writing for a blog. While blogs can be used as a part of market­ing activ­it­ies they are primar­ily used to inform readers. Yet part of the goal of the blog writer is to create persuas­ive mater­i­al. Remember most of your readers are busy people and your work needs to:

  • Be specif­ic.
  • Focus on the reader.
  • Make readers feel something.

 

Mix it up!

 

How does this impact the weight of words used? One of the challenges of writing is varying the tone and pace. The weight of words matter. Use both long and short sentences, often to counter­bal­ance one anoth­er. Simple and complex words can provide contrast within a sentence

Indeed mixing up the types of words used in sentences is neces­sary to make your points stand out. For example use of ‘the’. Sentences that use ‘the’ multiple times are not uncom­mon. Yet there are many words which can be used in its place, such as your, our, my, when posses­sion is being recog­nised. Every, all, each, are also valid altern­at­ives, which ensures the sentences are mixed and not repet­it­ive. It is true that we repeat many words in sentences and paragraphs when there are altern­at­ives we should use.

The other aspect of word choice is that situations may demand a specif­ic use. Use the appro­pri­ate word.

 

Other Related Material

The weight of words to use can be a heavy burden for the writer. The words we select and how we write are import­ant aspects that every blog writer must consider, These works also provide further inform­a­tion:

 

 

If you like this article, we would appre­ci­ate it if you make a donation to GobbledeGoox . What are your thoughts about select­ing the words you use when writing your blog? Something to contrib­ute? Please leave a comment. The images here were sourced from a public domain location, such as Pixabay, Unsplash or other sites.

 

 

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