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Friday, November 6, 2009

Cautions for Thesaurus Junkies

Have you ever found yourself adding multi-syllable words to your writing in hopes of making yourself look smarter? Is the thesaurus your favorite function in Microsoft Word? If so, take the time to consider the following.

When using big words, good communicators should ensure that both they and their audiences know the meaning of the words. Written and verbal communications are only effective if people know what you are trying to tell them. Although a large vocabulary is an important addition to your verbal and written repertoire, your credibility will instantly decrease if you misuse large words. Without taking the time to assess your verbiage, you run the risk of sounding either unintelligent or pretentious.

So, when you press shift F7 and the thesaurus offers large word after large word, remember it’s often better to trade your syllables for clarity.