Two Vocabularies

So frequently I see people write in ways they are unlikely to speak. They will say, “I bought a new car” but will write, “I purchased a new vehicle.” In speech they will “go” someplace, but in writing they prefer to “proceed.”  They say their friend “quit her job,” but in writing she “resigned her position.”

In speech they “use” simple, clear English, but in writing they “utilize” a puffed-up variant.  When we write, our goal should be to use language that leaves no room for questions.  Straightforward English is best. Writing is not the time to prove how clever you are. If you are smart, people already know that. Write so your audience gets the point and doesn’t have to contact you for clarification. Having to do that annoys them, annoys you, and wastes time and money.

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Filed under All things having to do with the English language

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