As a writer, it is necessary not only to think about what you say, but how you say it. To communicate effectively, it isn’t adequate to have well organized ideas expressed in complete and sentences that are coherent paragraphs. One must also consider the style, tone and clarity of his/her writing, and adapt these elements to the reading audience. Again, analyzing a person’s audience and purpose is key to writing effectiveness. The writer must consider the objective of the document, the context in which it is being written, and who will be reading it in order to choose the most effective language.
Characteristics of Effective Language
Concrete language includes descriptions which create tangible images with details the reader can visualize. Abstract language is vague and obscure, and will not think of specific images that are visual. Think about the two sets of statements below. The statement towards the top is abstract, but the statements become increasingly specific and concrete toward the underside.
He is a bad roommate
He is lazy and discourteous
He is untidy and unclean
He doesn’t tidy up his or her own messes
He leaves his dirty dishes on the kitchen counter
Your relationship with John is unacceptable
you don’t go along well with John
both you and John have a lot of arguments you and John too insult each other much
You and John call each other derogatory names
Notice how much more effective the statements become as the language becomes more specific and concrete. The statements towards the top, which are more abstract, can be interpreted in a lot of ways that are possible and then leave many questions answered. The statements at the end, that are more concrete, are less ready to accept interpretations that are multiple.
A hallmark of effective writers may be the capability to express the specified message in as few words as you possibly can. Good writers, quite simply, use language which can be to-the-point and straightforward. Consider the examples that are following.
(1) It is widely discussed by employees that many of those are going to be forced to change jobs and take on new responsibilities when the merger takes place involving the two companies.
(2) before carefully deciding about whether or not the person on trial is guilty or innocent in this case, the people in the jury should be sure to carefully think about, ponder and reflect on most of the important and testimony that is relevant the actual situation.
Notice how long-winded these sentences are, and just how easily they are often simplified and shortened. An essential part of revising and editing involves re-phrasing sentences to remove wordiness that is excessive. One good way to reduce wordiness would be to eliminate words that are redundant phrases. Consider example one above. The phrases “to change jobs” and “take on new responsibilities” are redundant, and may be combined into one phrase that is short be expressed more concisely.
Consider example two above. The phrase “. should be sure to carefully think about, ponder and think about. ” contains three straight ways of saying the thing that is same. This sentence could be improved making use of only one regarding the key phrases: “. to reflect on. “
A second way to reduce wordiness would be to eliminate “filler” words which serve no purpose into the sentence. Consider example one above. Replace the phrase “. when the merger takes place amongst the two companies” with “. when the two companies merge.” Consider example two above. Notice the excessive wordiness in the following phrase: “Before making a choice about whether or not the person on trial is guilty or innocent in this case . ” This sentence could simply read: “Before determining the defendant’s guilt or innocence. “
Familiar language is that which the readers easily recognize and understand since they utilize it on a normal basis. One of the more important functions of language is to build “homophily” or a feeling of commonality with a person’s readers. Language which will be foreign and unfamiliar to your reader has a tendency to emphasize the differences between reader and writer, and helps make the message difficult to understand. The message is likely to have more impact by using language that is familiar to the reader.
Think about the following examples.
An assignment directed at a class of business students by their philosophy professor:
“The presently assigned paper necessitates an eloquently articulated analysis associated with the Existentialist perspective as it pertains to living that is contemporary. You should adumbrate the true points which represent the sine qua non of one’s analysis.”
A letter provided for twelfth grade students warning them associated with risks of an unhealthy diet:
“Individuals who maintain an eating plan of high fat content are subjected to a heightened danger of developing atherosclerosis, that will be a buildup of fat deposits regarding the inner walls of this arteries. This disorder can lessen or cut from the flow of blood in the arteries serving the most important organs associated with the body. This may result in poor health.”
Both in examples above, the language that is used is unfamiliar into the readers. The message loses its impact as a result.
Precise and Clear Language
The application of appropriate language is a matter that is tricky the meaning of words is relative and situational. Put differently, words may be interpreted in numerous ways by different people in different situations. With this good reason, you will need to choose language which can be as precise and clear that you can. The greater amount of precise and clear an individual’s utilization of language becomes, the fewer the sheer number of possible interpretations for a note. Look at the following words. What value that is numerical you assign to each of those? If something is “probable what percentage associated with the time does it occur? P>
Would other people assign visit site the value that is same these words as you did? In actuality, the number of values varies greatly because these terms are relative: they can mean different things to different people in numerous situations. How could one become more precise in his/her utilization of these terms?
Think about the examples below. Observe that these terms can vary widely within the meaning to different people. The easiest way to utilize such relative terms, then, is always to compare them to something concrete and “known” to your reader. An expensive car?” is best answered with a comparison: “Compared to that Honda, the Acura is expensive for example: “Is that Acura. In comparison to that Lexus, it really is inexpensive.”
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Look at the following examples. Note the confusion that is potential ambiguity in these phrases.
(1) Why the student body should continue in this state of apathy is not actually understandable.
(2) Our student body is dull and slack-minded.
(3) The practice and theory of politics are studied within the classroom but political habits on campus try not to appear to benefit from such labor.
(4) he is an individual that is interesting.
(5) It is difficult to estimate how many people afflicted with AIDS.
Each one of the following are actual headlines printed in newspapers. Notice their double meaning.
(1) Include your young ones when Baking Cookies
(2) Safety Experts Say School Buss Passengers must certanly be Belted
(3) Bank Drive-in Window Blocked by Board
(4) Killer Sentenced to Die for Second amount of time in Ten Years
(5) Eye Drops Off Shelf
In a nutshell, it is wise to think carefully regarding the range of words and their potential interpretations. To communicate effectively, precise and clear language is essential.