Tags » Word Choice

"I have diffidently put effort in."

Awhile ago I devoted a post to ruminating on an example of this word, “diffident.” That writer was writing about fast food as an eating “path,” and I was comparing this concept to the two paths in Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken,” especially since my student said the fast-food road was “diffidently not the only one.…” 368 more words

Student Writing

Culture and Writing - How to Avoid Derailing your Readers

Some of the most successful commercial fiction is the stuff that appeals to everyone; old and young, from every corner of the world. But one big barrier to creating work like this is the invisible restrictions placed upon you by your own culture. 659 more words


Using Archaic Words is as Bad as Using Made-Up New Ones (Aulus Gellius, Attics Nights 11.7)

“One Should Avoid Very Archaic Words That Have Become Antiquated and Fallen Out of Use”

“Using words that are obsolete and worn down seems as affected as using uncustomary or new ones of harsh or unpleasant character. 487 more words


The RIP Word List

In my junior year as a high school student, I took what was one of the most challenging and educational classes of my life. You scoff, wondering what sort of pathetic college education I then must have had, but it  1,246 more words


What does a tinge mean?

Question details:

Her red hair had a tinge of white.

Does that mean some of her hair is completely white?

Answer by Mike Mendis:

A tinge is a small amount, usually of colour, but it could be used for other things as well, in a metaphorical sense (for example, a tinge of sadness). 310 more words



Like Mark Twain, I am a sucker for the right word. Twain’s the one who famously noted the difference between the right word and the almost-right word is akin to the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. 682 more words

Children's Book Critique Group Blog

Language Speaks — "Slang is OK"

The point of language is to share and learn. People develop their own ways of speaking to each other (married couples sometimes have sickeningly adorable telepathy where a few words can mean volumes).

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