exactness and vividness n.
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Exactness and Vividness. Section 29. Before We Begin. I want you to get an appreciation for what words can actually do to your brain Read the following to yourself. The Don’ts. Avoid improprieties when writing or speaking Improprieties are standard words used incorrectly For example:

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Exactness and Vividness

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before we begin
Before We Begin
  • I want you to get an appreciation for what words can actually do to your brain
  • Read the following to yourself
the don ts
The Don’ts
  • Avoid improprieties when writing or speaking
    • Improprieties are standard words used incorrectly
    • For example:
      • They were mighty proud of their trophy.
        • Mighty is an adj used as an adv—the word should be especially
      • The blockers defensed well on that last play.
        • Defensed is a noun used as a verb—the word should be defended
      • The mayor met with some members of the city counsel.
        • Counsel is the wrong word—it should be council
    • Improprieties often occur when a word is confused with another word similar to it
the list which in no way is all inclusive
The List (which in no way is all inclusive)
  • Here are some words often confused for each other:
    • Advice, advise
    • Altar, alter
    • Alumnus, alumna
    • Alumni, alumnae
    • Capital, capitol
    • Cite, site
    • Compliment, complement
    • Dyeing, dying
    • Emigrate, immigrate
    • Hoard, horde
    • Illusion, allusion
    • Imminent, eminent
    • Loose, lose
    • Principal, principle
    • Role, roll
denotation vs connotation
Denotation vs Connotation
  • The denotation of a word is its strict dictionary definition
  • The connotation of a word goes beyond its strict meaning to the feelings and images the word suggests
    • For example:
      • Think of the word democracy, socialism, communism, Christian, Pentecostal, etc.
  • Properly using the connotations of a word can have a powerful effect on your audience
    • However, be careful that you don’t used words with undesirable connotations
      • Mr. Parks is a timid man.
      • Mr. Parks is a pusillanimous man.
exact and vivid verbs
Exact and Vivid Verbs
  • Choose exact and vividverbs and nouns to make your writing interesting and forceful
    • Choose verbs with action and color to create mental pictures in the reader’s mind
      • For example:
        • The stream flowed.
          • The verb flowed doesn’t show specific action. Observe how the mental images change with different, more exact verbs
        • The stream gushed.
        • The stream swirled.
        • The stream splashed.
        • The stream gurgled.
        • The stream meandered.
        • The stream trickled.
exact and vivid verbs1
Exact and Vivid Verbs
  • Whenever possible, use exact and vivid verbs instead of verb-adverb combinations
    • For example:
      • The dog lay carelessly on the floor. (v-adv combo)
      • The dog sprawled on the floor. (exact and vivid verb)
    • How about these:
      • He ran quickly from the room.
        • It’s a verb-adverb combination
      • He dashed from the room.
        • It now contains an exact and vivid verb
exact and vivid nouns
Exact and Vivid Nouns
  • Learn how to select specific nouns rather than general nouns
    • Notice the progression from general to specific in the following:
      • Food, meat, beef, sirloin
      • Lumber, hardwood, tropical hardwood, mahogany
      • School, private school, Lighthouse Christian Academy
  • The thesaurus is your friend
    • Learn to look up synonyms for nouns
      • Make sure the synonym expresses your meaning exactly
        • Don’t write haze if you mean smog, dream if you mean nightmare, etc.
exact and vivid modifiers adjectives
Exact and Vivid Modifiers (Adjectives)
  • Use exact and vivid modifiers to enhance the nouns and verbs you have chosen
    • Carefully select the exact adjective needed to express your idea
      • Synonyms generally have slightly differing meanings
    • Make good use of participles…they make colorful adjectives
      • Ex: the sound of the crackling fire and the smell of the bubbling stew lifted the spirits of the cold and weary hunters.
    • But, be sparing in the use of adjectives because too many makes for poor sentences
      • We listened with delight to the sweet, pleasant, agreeable tones of the harp. (poor)
      • We listened with delight to the dulcet tones of the harp. (better)
exact and vivid modifiers adverbs
Exact and Vivid Modifiers (Adverbs)
  • Use the most vivid adverbs you can find
    • Adverbs that end in –ly are usually the most vivid
      • Foolishly, benignly, menacingly, agilely, fastidiously, jealously, etc.
  • Carefully select the exfact adverb needed to express your idea
    • For example: Slowly is a general word. Notice the following synonyms that express the idea more exactly:
      • Leisurely, deliberately, gradually, reluctantly, hesitantly, sluggishly
  • The adverbs very and really are greatly overused
    • As often as possible, substitute such with the following:
      • Decidedly, extremely, exceedingly, incomparably, indeed, actually, especially, actually, particularly, notably, strikingly…