Our Outlook

Filter Posts

Clear Filters
« Return to List

Posted on 04.26.2012

Before turning to a thesaurus, consider this

Ever find yourself sitting at your desk, simultaneously staring at a draft of a writing project and an online thesaurus? You toggle back and forth between the two, looking for words that can substitute for those two or three terms that seem to appear in every sentence.

Well, before you start plopping synonyms on the page, consider how differences in meaning and connotation can dramatically affect the tone of your writing.

Tone, as you'll recall from high school English courses, is the mood of a particular piece of writing. And word choice is one factor that determines mood.

For example, in writing for some of our healthcare clients, I'm frequently tasked with describing services provided by hospitals or physicians. Instead of describing cardiology is a "critical service" for the hospital, I'm better off calling it a "vital service," given the positive connotations of the word vital (life, energy, etc.) and the more negative connotations of the word critical (crisis, criticism, etc.). Similarly, it's preferable to describe how a client has "reduced costs," which has positive implications of strategy and planning, than say it has "cutâ" or "slashed" its costs. In addition, word choice determines whether the tone of your writing is casual or formal.

Did you "talk about" or "debate" a topic? Did the researchers "look into" or "examine" a subject? Were you "mad" or "angry"? The next time you're putting the finishing touches on a piece of writing - or getting ready to reference a thesaurus - take a moment to consider the word choices you've made and how they impact the message you're trying to deliver. A short editing session can mean the difference between a positive and professional piece of writing and a passage that unintentionally frowns at its reader. For more tips, check out our previous posts on writing and copywriting.

 

Click here to sign up and receive our new blog posts via email.

Latest Blog Post

Don’t Let the Pandemic Further Sideline Business Development Efforts

The pandemic is a huge challenge to business development efforts but not an insurmountable one. Keep growth at the top of your priority list with these seven ti...

Read More

News Update

Lovell Account Supervisor Jessica Hopson Elected VP of Communications to IABC Nashville’s 2021 Executive Board of Directors

Lovell Account Supervisor Jessica Hopson Elected VP of Communications to IABC Nashville’s 2021 Executive Board of Directors...

Read More