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3. Avoid using purely technical words that you do
not at once explain.
Mechanics, doctors, lawyers and all specialists fall into this error. Whenever you use a technical word, explain it at once.
4. Avoid abbreviating words.
Don't say "Cap." for Captain, "Doc." for Doctor, or "Gym." for Gymnasium.
5. Use clear, simple words that will be understood.
6. If you use difficult or unusual words, explain
them at once by coupling every such word with a synoym. "He made an immediate concatenation, or linking together, of his sentences."
7. Avoid constant repetition of favorite words.
8. Use synonyms to express various shades of
9. Use words that have pleasant sounds.
What is your own greatest fault in choice of words? How can you remedy it?
How to Use Connotative Words
KEY WORDS: USE WORDS THAT CARRY PLEASANT SUGGESTIONS.
A connotative word is a word that has associated with it a great many suggestions. When you say the word there at once flashes into your mind a number of ideas called by that one word.
Such a word cannot be a scientific word, for science demands accuracy. It is a poetic word, because poetry is largely based on association.
You can make your speech attractive by using words that have associated many pleasant meanings.
Here are some examples. The first sentence in every case employs an ordinary word. The second employs a connotative word.
1. This is the old building.
2. This is the old home.
1. I shot the buck; I did not have the heart to kill the female.
2. I shot the buck; I did not have the heart to kill the mother.
1. He sent her a lover's present.
2. He sent her a single red rose.
Here is a list of thirty connotative words:
Use such words as these that carry with them all kinds of pleasant associations.
Thus you make your speech attractive through the power of suggestion.
1 Write a list of ten additional connotative words you may use.
2. Note the connotative words in a speech that pleases you.
How to Use Denotative Words
KEY WORDS: USE WORDS THAT EXACTLY EXPRESS 'YOUR MEANING.
A denotative word is a word that is exact, precise, that carries but one impression.
Use such words in your speech when you speak of matters in which you should be exact.
Notice the following examples. The first sentence in every case is weak because it is indefinite. The second is better because it is definite—the principal word lias been made denotative.
1. The house was queer shaped.
2. The house was octagonal.
1. He had a peculiar walk.
2. He walked with a shuffle.
1. He came some time ago.
2. He came last June.
1. It was a pretty color.
2. It was dark purple.
1. The man is a foreigner.
2. The man is a Spaniard.
1. He put a lot of stuff together.
2. He mixed sulphur and chlorate of potassium.
1. All the fellows were there.
2. John, Henry and Will were there.
1. Notice your speech. You will find that much of the time you U3e weak, meaningless words.
2. Eemedy this by using words that are exact.
3. Sit down now and prepare a page or two of your note book for recording your use of weak words.
4. Every time you catch yourself using a weak expression write it down, together with the exact expression.
You will soon overcome your bad habit.
Here is a list of ten denotative words. Notice how exact and definite every word is,—limited to one meaning, and one alone. Use many such words for precision:
Think of your three most common weak expressions; what definite words can you substitute?