image of a blackboard

If anyone asks my advice on their writing, there are two things I will tell them to get right, spelling and word usage. And no, I’m not asking you to learn magic!

Aside from the fact we English spell a few words differently to our cousins across the pond, spelling and word usage is essential to conveying your message correctly. Most of us have access to a word processor, even here in WordPress land.

Look at this clip from a sentence I have just seen on a social media platform.

“…one ginormous, black whole…”

This was used to describe a social media site that’s full of pictures. The writer’s trying to get across the enormity of that site’s content. Not knowing the difference between a black hole as in the cosmic phenomenon used to illustrate how things disappear and the word whole used to illustrate something in its entirety is poor word usage. The sentence didn’t convey what the writer intended – “…one ginormous, black hole…” would have given the idea there was nothing there, an empty void.

Using words to describe something is an essential tool in any language, English included. If I were to use this description –  “a tool used for cutting things such as air” – you would be confused. If I wrote – “a tool used for cutting things such as hair” – you would picture of a pair of scissors in your head.

I admit I’ve made a few howlers in my time and that’s due to cost constraints which compels me to edit my own books. But I now have a golden rule that says I must edit my writing five times before I publish. It’s very hard to spot your own mistakes so I write my pieces and books in MS Word and use ProWritingAid to analyse my work before publishing. Then, if I’m writing for my blog, I copy and paste into WordPress and read it a few more times.

Call me picky, but if you want anyone to read and understand what you’ve written, use words correctly. Otherwise you will soon lose your audience.

Tom Kane © 2017

As a English expat author living in Cyprus, you may think my life revolves around cocktails by the pool. You would be wrong. In ten years on the island I’ve had my fair share of adventures and interesting experiences.

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Living in Cyprus: 2015 here

Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb here

An Indie Author Quick Guide to Blogging here

 

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Living in Cyprus: 2015 here

Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb here

An Indie Author Quick Guide to Blogging here

 

 

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