by Barbara McNichol, Editor of Word Trippers
Do you find that at times the spoken language slides into your writing, but often the words selected aren’t the exact fit for what you mean?
Consider these sentences:
- How many executives do what they feel will win approval?
- The public feels certain people shouldn’t be in the workforce.
Given the context, is “feel” the correct word to express the intended meaning? No, because it doesn’t come from an emotional “feeling” source. Rather, it comes from a conviction based on experience—a place of belief. Because of this, better choices would be:
- How many executives do what they believe will win approval?
- The public believes certain people shouldn’t be in the workforce.
Your challenge: Question everything you write against the context. In particular, flag “feel” as a word to watch. Is “feel” the most precise way to convey your intended meaning? If not, pause and find exactly the right one—think, believe, hope, or whichever is accurate.
Today’s Word Tripper:
Allude, elude – To “allude” means to refer to something casually or indirectly. To “elude” means to avoid or escape by cleverness or speed. ”May the force be with you,” the boy said to his friend, alluding to the movie Star Wars. Then they split up to better their chances of eluding the bully chasing them.”
Barbara McNichol is passionate about helping business professionals add power to their pen. To assist in this mission, she has created a word choice guide Word Trippers: The Ultimate Source for Choosing the Right Word When It Really Matters with details at www.WordTrippers.com.