Woe to the Careless Writer

Vocabulary is Important!

By Annette Rey

Language does evolve and we should be thankful for that – to a point. I mean, we aren’t burdened with having to say “Dost thou desire a respite before partaking dinner?” We just say, “Wanna take a nap?”

But in this modern age where almost everyone has a keyboard, and they are using them, their writing should reflect some competence with the language.

I give you this example that recently showed up on social media.

A girl was referring to some scantily-clad photos she posted of herself and wrote, “Yeah, there was some nudity. Some of the more risky pictures were…”

Was she crippling toward the word risqué? I daresay, posting nude photos of oneself can carry risks but, in context, I don’t think she was considering risk.

So where are we today with our language usage? It is fairly acceptable to end sentences with prepositions, as in, “Where have you gone off to?” It sounds stuffy to say, “To where have you gone?” We kind of get a break in our speech, but that makes us lazy, and that usually generalizes to our written word.

But, writers can have fun breaking all the rules when writing dialogue. Be true to your character. If he is a college professor of languages, you bet he should sound stuffy. If she is an under-educated street prostitute, she’s going to say through bad teeth, “They wasn’t gonna pay me, so my pimp teached ’em good.”

When you are writing your blog, or commenting on a social media site, or even texting, and especially when you are creating your works of art, be mindful to construct your communications in as perfect English as you can muster. Others are reading how you present your craft and you want them to keep coming back for more.

Be a good example. Maybe we will eventually hear more correct uses of risqué and fewer sounds-like guesses like risky.

 

 

 

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