Nathanael Green's Blog

An advertising copywriter, novelist, and freelance writer's brain goo.

Posts Tagged ‘big words

In Defense of the $10 Word

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The quintessential cantankerous old man.

The quintessential cantankerous old man.

Ever heard the saying that you shouldn’t use a ten-dollar word when a two-cent one will do?

I agree. There’s no point in tossing giant Latinate words into your writing when a simple, single-syllable will do.

He masticated the tuna? Nah. He just chewed it.

Using big words needlessly can be a turnoff for your readers. It can muddy your meaning while making your writing sound stilted at best, possibly irritating and pompous. Plus, you have to be careful because sometimes that giant word you think means one thing really means something else and could be a big embarrassment. (Insert mastication jokes here.)

So sure, it’s often wise to avoid the big words when a little one will do.

But notice the qualifier on that statement: “when a little one will do.” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Nathanael Green

April 13, 2009 at 8:39 am