I have a thing for infographics.
There’s something appealing about seeing data visualized. Who wants to look at a boring old spreadsheet if you can look at colorful charts and graphs?
I also have a thing for grammar. As the daughter of an English teacher, I have little choice in the matter. Grammar is nerdy, a bit tightly wound, and absolutely delightful.
A grammar infographic is like bait for me. I can’t not click on it.
I recently discovered an infographic for writers that has some solid insights and tips.
Proofread Your Work
My favorite section is on proofreading. I know, you just want to get the thing written and off of your todo list, but proofreading is so important. It’s an essential part of writing, whether you’re writing an email, a short blog post, an ebook, a screenplay or a novel.
A lot of mistakes can slip through spellcheck. If you’re not proofreading the words you’re putting into the world, I guarantee you’re sending out typos. It happens to everyone.
Here are the proofreading tips from the infographic:
Don’t Use Words You Wouldn’t Normally Use
My least favorite section in the infographic encourages readers to use “alternative” words to describe emotions. If you’re a novelist, I can see the need to pull from a deep vocabulary bag, but we’re content creators. We use regular language to talk to our target audience. When was the last time you used “doleful” or “confounded” in everyday speech? How about “nonplussed”? “Agape?” No? Me either.
When to Flex Your Vocabulary
If you really mean furious, use “furious.” If you really are puzzled or bereaved, use “puzzled” or “bereaved.” But don’t dig around for “alternative” words just for the sake of using different words, or appearing well-read, or because you think it sounds boring to use “angry.” If you’re sad, use “angry.”
Use your judgement and trust your instincts. You’ve been reading, listening and talking for a really long time. You likely have a better handle on language than you think you do.
Write for Your Readers
Get out of the academic frame of mind and write for your readers. Your words and message will resonate on an authentic, deeper level than if you fill your content with flowery prose trying to sound smart or poetic.
Your topic should stand on its own. If it needs to be propped up with a bunch of jargon or prose, the problem likely lies in the topic…not the words.
Holler if you need help. And check out the grammar infographic—it has some good tips.
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