Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Business Writing Tip 23 - Using Big Words - Remember Your Reader

Many good writers put a lot of thought into what they're saying. Sometimes they put so much thought into it that they begin deploying large, ill-fitting, or obscure words. In attempting to be eloquent, they succumb to the allure of demonstrating their writing capacity and sophistication. They are enamored with their own word power.

Unfortunately it often comes across as condescending, or worse, pointless, to the reader. The big words diminish the point or don't fit the article's subject or purpose. Young writers are often guilty of this. If they're good, they get a little full of themselves, or they feel they have to prove how smart they are. So they use words that aren't commonly heard in conversation, and that's when they start losing their audience. They've begun writing to see how impressive they look on paper, instead of writing for, and reveling in, how well the audience receives and understands.