Tip Tuesday — Say What You Mean

Ah word usage. It is ever changing. Like, LITERALLY. But this is something that you can’t rush. So when writing, you want to make sure the word that you are using means what you want it to mean.

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It’s okay to go a bit outside of the box and use words in new and interesting ways, but they still have to mean what they mean. Know what I mean?

You don’t want to give a word a new meaning thinking that all you’re doing is creating a new metaphor. You aren’t. You are using language incorrectly.

Let’s look at an example, shall we?

He instantly calmed her like a cup of her favourite tea.

This, my friends, is a simile. I am comparing how he makes her feel to a cup of tea.

He growled at her. “You parking lot me and it’s driving me mad.”

Bawha? Doesn’t make sense, right? Totally not clear what I’m saying. That’s because I’m using ‛parking lot’ in a way that isn’t common or known. And unless you are creating a world where words mean something different this is generally a no-no.

You also want to be careful when using a noun as a verb and vice verse. It’s become popular to use the noun “adult” as a verb, i.e. “I so can’t adult today” but the same can’t be said of “child”. I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone say “I just want to child today”. (Although maybe by the nature of this post I’ll have started the use of child as a verb. Weirder things have happened.)

You should always have fun with words when writing and think of new ways to say old things, but you always need to be aware of the definition of the words you use.

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