This writing wrinkle is dedicated to those of us who have words that we just cannot seem to let go, which I will refer to as our vocabulary matches (not a grammatical term, just something I made up for the sake of this writing tip).
Vocabulary matches are words that we are drawn to using without thinking about it. Sometimes, those matches are due to the level of schooling we are in or have had, or it might be our way of speaking leaking into the way we write.
For example, my most common vocabulary match used to be “consequently.” When I was in college, especially during the graduate years, I would use consequently A LOT. Basically, it was the trademark that I was the author on a written piece. Also, I found out that, in general, adverbs were another source of vocabulary matches. I always felt the need to put adverbs in my work — just for a little razzle dazzle (and sometimes I still catch myself doing the same thing now).
The key thing here is knowing if and when you need to upgrade your vocabulary and vocabulary matches in your written work. If there are words you incorporate into your work, determine why you are drawn to those words. Consider some of these questions when thinking about the vocabulary you utilize:
⁃Are you using them for the reasons I listed above? ⁃Is there a style choice you are trying to achieve? ⁃Do the words fit the appropriate context for which you are writing (e.g., keeping up with a character’s style of speaking versus writing a journal article)?
When you are attentive to those words, you can use a thesaurus to help you make better word choices. Another way to challenge those matches is to determine if something can be written differently another way to still get your points across.
Sometimes, even if you’ve done those things, it can still be difficult to determine your vocabulary matches and when you need to upgrade the words you write. If that sounds like you, I can help! Check out my business, ProofRae’d Writing Review Services, at http://www.proofraed.biz or email me at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org so I can help you shed some light on what you write!