Writing Tip: Repetitive Phrase Alternative

I just lately proofread a soon-to-be-published memoir that’s translated from the French, and sadly, the translator’s phrase selection is so poor that it impressed this “what to not do” article. Phrase selection could be a constructive or unfavourable high quality in writing for a lot of causes. On this case, the author’s sin is the repetitious use of phrases and phrases. Over. And over. And over. Most writers who do that do not understand they’re doing it, and it is the most effective causes to learn your work out loud–and one of many best writing pitfalls to repair by cautious enhancing.

For instance, immediately I got here throughout the next sentence:

“In actuality, this was very unrealistic.”

I do know what you are considering: “actuality” and “unrealistic” aren’t the identical phrase. However repetitive phrase selection is not all the time about the very same phrase or phrase being overused; completely different types of a phrase depend, too. First, when in the identical sentence or paragraph, they could be a purple flag of redundancy. Would the that means of the above sentence be any completely different if we reduce “in actuality”? Nope. You possibly can’t declare an concept is unrealistic if you have not considered it when it comes to actuality.

Additionally, potential for additional depth and nuance will be misplaced in case you reuse favourite phrases and phrases on the expense of variation. If we change “in actuality” with a extra particular phrase or phrase, the sentence turns into far more efficient and significant. For instance:

“Given what had simply occurred within the Center East, this was very unrealistic.”

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“Exterior of my daydreams, this was very unrealistic.”

Typically various phrase selection is much more primary: Should you reread a paragraph in your fiction and discover that you’ve got used the phrase “couple” thrice, drag out your thesaurus. Attempt “duo” or “pair” or “lovers.” Understand that whereas phrases could also be listed as synonyms, every has its personal connotations, and the strongest writers take care to decide on the phrase that greatest conveys their supposed that means and suits the tone or temper of their writing. That goes for each phrase in each sentence, in fact.

In brief, phrase selection is a straightforward realm through which to get lazy or sloppy, but it surely’s one of the vital elements of excellent writing, if not the most vital. Select correctly and with selection, my author associates.

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