100 Words Every Expert Author Should Know Part II

To “Know” vs. To “Use”

In our previous post, we featured a list of 100 words compiled by the EzineArticles Editorial Team.

The Origins of the List

Only some of the words were inspired by our Editors’ love for the English language (such as “ballyhoo”). A majority of the words were inspired by writing terminology (such as “simile”) as well as several words new writers are recommended to learn (such as “precipitous”) prior to their advancement into writing professions.

Should you use all of these words in your articles?

Of Course Not!

While it could be done, you would be hard pressed to use the word “homonym” in an article discussing gastric bypass surgery or the importance of drain cleaning equipment.

Our recommendation with this list was to get to know these words and even use them to “spice up” your writing when the occasion arose. In our excitement to share the list with you, we neglected to clarify the following – how this list benefits you and your readers:

  • Expanding your grasp of the English language will help you create a stronger message to communicate to various audiences.
  • Understanding how to apply the various writing terms will help you improve your writing style.

You’re the Expert

You are the authority in your niche and the language you use is a reflection of your credibility. With practice and time, you’ve discovered the keys to writing a message that both reaches your audience and reflects your credibility as an Expert Author. You know better than anyone what words are the right words for your target audience based on your experience in what converts prospective audiences into customers or followers.

What you also know is to use discretion in order to convey your message memorably while avoiding turning your informative article into a gaudy display of arrogance. Based on your feedback, you’ve asserted that the 100 words recommended by our Editors are not fit for your audience. However, these words may be of use to you if you’ve wanted to hone your own writing skills.

Understanding these words doesn’t give you a badge of elitism – that won’t get your articles read. Knowing these words will help you broaden your writing skills to better apply your message. For example: Knowing the meaning of “irony” will help you avoid misusing the phrase. Understanding the “metaphor” behind “a penny saved is a penny earned” may help you convey your message. Writing in your audience’s “vernacular” will help you connect with your audience.

Word Usage Best Practices

  • Always – we repeat – always write for your audience. Topics, style, language, demographics, etc. – these are all factors you should consider in your writing style.
  • Use their words unless your audience shares the same technical language and background as you. Simple and short is always better.
  • If instructing in your article, keep it short. No one ever said paragraphs MUST be 4-5 sentences to be effective. Shorter paragraphs work well and can be easily digested.
  • Cut the fluff. Be clear. Wordy is not better. It’s confusing.

Will you use plain, simple words the majority of the time in your writing? Yes. Knowing when and where to place more specific language is the art of writing and engaging your audience. Write what you know, but never stop expanding on what you do know.

We thoroughly enjoyed everyone’s comments! Thank you all for weighing in on the topic and if you’re new to this topic, please click here to visit the original post.

This post was updated on May 29, 2013 at 8:05 A.M.

29 Comments »


1
davidinnotts writes:

Right on, Vanessa! I agree with you all the way. The trouble came from people seeing the list in two ways; one faction (it was getting that way) likes the idea of expanding vocabulary; the other, while frequently agreeing, sees the words on the list as mostly a barrier to communicating with the kinds of people they most want to reach.

I’m different, of course, holding both viewpoints and not seeing an incompatibility. (Removes tongue from cheek.)

Comment provided May 28, 2013 at 2:24 PM

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2
friv writes:

i like page

Comment provided May 28, 2013 at 2:36 PM

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3
John Highman writes:

A good writer provides value to the reader. Its all about the reader and so it should be. Let your experience flow onto the page. Don’t make the written word so hard to comprehend or interpret. Help people to come back to read your material again. Be relevant and real.

Comment provided May 28, 2013 at 2:42 PM

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4
RICHARD BLUMENTHAL writes:

I am a crossword freak. I do 2 every morning. a broad vocabulary is an asset in this. A for prose, one is tempted to flash his chops, but one needs to rein in those temptations for clarity, which I consider paramount in composition.

Comment provided May 28, 2013 at 2:47 PM

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5
Suzanne writes:

Definitely agree with cutting the fluff.

Comment provided May 28, 2013 at 4:21 PM

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6
Jackie Mackay writes:

The eight points of communication include understanding. Whatever words you use make sure you use the right one for the context or It can appear pompous.

Jackie Mackay

Comment provided May 28, 2013 at 6:53 PM

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7
Sasangka writes:

Thanks for the post Vanessa. It is useful for writers to know though I prefer simple words in writing an article.

Comment provided May 28, 2013 at 8:01 PM

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8
Randall Magwood writes:

Sometimes shorter paragraphs are better than longer ones. I enjoyed the previous blog post on the 100 words. I discovered words i had never thought of before… it’s like studying for a Jeopardy competition lol.

Comment provided May 28, 2013 at 10:04 PM

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9
Gracious Store writes:

It is better to use very simple plain words in writing articles except for technical writings. Even at that you have to use those technical terminologies sparsely knowing that your audience could be diverse

Comment provided May 28, 2013 at 11:33 PM

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10
Tim writes:

Reminds me of my call up for National Service in UK 55 years ago. I had been schooled at private boarding schools who insisted we only spoke the King’s [later Queen’s] English. Once in the forces, no one understood what I was talking about, and they all took the ‘mickey’ of my range of words they had never heard before. This made having meaningful conversations absolutely impossible. I had to learn very quickly to speak only ‘Popular” English words – and totally stop using the Queen’s English. Over the decades since then I have traveled to many countries around the World, often to give lectures. But each country had different limitations on their English vocabulary. So I had to ‘learn’ a new version of English for each country so that the audience could easily understand what I was talking about – essential if you want to be asked back for further lectures! No, use the same vocabulary as the readers of your blog or website. Learn from others who write comments, and then you will ‘fit’ and be accepted and then listened to.

Comment provided May 29, 2013 at 12:12 AM

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11
mandira mazumder writes:

“Simplicity is the best Style” and spontaneous thoughts
gives birth to natural language which surely connects you with your audience immediately.

Great blog…Thanks Vanessa..

Comment provided May 29, 2013 at 1:06 AM

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12

Writing is simple and safe when your vocab is strong. This blog post smoothly polishes one’s vocab. However it should have thrown some lights on reading psychology of customers. :)

Comment provided May 29, 2013 at 1:42 AM

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13
Penni writes:

I actually disagree with everyone who thinks those words are pretentious :):)

The brilliant thing with the English language is that it has scores of nuances and every word is ever so slightly different in meaning from it’s synonyms. I relish good writing that makes use of the length and breadth of vocabulary – it has a satisfactory roundness to it that is a joy to read.

And I don’t mean over embellished, flowery and over-blown prose. Just words used to the fullness of their meaning that flow together wonderfully.

I disagree also that it wouldn’t be understood by the “masses,” I think people get the gist of what is being written by the context and that makes for great learning and mind expansion. But if we dumb down what we are saying, we are soon going to be left with all of 100 words in common usage and it won’t be those on the list :D

Comment provided May 29, 2013 at 2:01 AM

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14
Daniel Latto writes:

Grea article – will stick it straight onto my blog for others to see too !

Thanks

Comment provided May 29, 2013 at 3:49 AM

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15
tcbernardo writes:

Re the cited expression “a penny earned is a penny saved,” isn’t it the other way around: “a penny saved is a penny earned”?

Comment provided May 29, 2013 at 5:57 AM

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Thanks for catching that Bernardo! You’re absolutely right, the saying has been updated. :)

~Vanessa

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davidinnotts writes:

**shame**! I missed it too. I obviously need an editor myself.

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16
Kaliyath Achutha Kumar writes:

Hi all,
I do agree that enhanced vocabulary is simply great! But simplicity is the best. You see, who will forget the memorable sentence of Wordsworth, ‘Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings’. There is no jargon of words! It is the same when Shakespeare said ‘Put out the light, and then put out the light’. Still we all remember and admire those words!

Comment provided May 29, 2013 at 9:43 PM

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17
Dom writes:

Yes, when you talk about “nuances” you are fuly right. Also, I’d like to stress that to me it is quite important to use the right correct word for the specific intended meaning.

That said, as a general rule, your writing style and your wording should always be approrpriate for you your readership.
(age, cultural level, tech or non-tech…)

Comment provided May 30, 2013 at 1:44 AM

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18
AliceLeena writes:

Hi..As i’m beginner for writing article your post makes me to think more..Thank you so much for that..Hope i will be writing article with all these qualities…

Comment provided May 30, 2013 at 5:38 AM

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19
Frank Gainsford writes:

Thanx for a great post discussing words and their importance. Big words are needed for big impressions, so you as a writer need to understand the words, and thier deeper meanings, so that they may be applied in the right context to supply the best interpretation of what you are trying to convey to the reader.

Having knowledge of big words and their meanings helps the writer to balance what is being portrayed, with his intended target market audience, but does not always necessitate the use of these very big words discussed in the first article that have such difficult to understand and deep meanings.

Comment provided May 30, 2013 at 12:27 PM

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20
Amina Ben writes:

At first thanks for this important post, im totally agree with frank the writer must understand what the meaning of words, so is not easier and available for everyone be writer. There are some rules in writing sould be applicated

Comment provided May 31, 2013 at 11:39 AM

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21
Greg Roberts writes:

Great information thanks a bunch!

Comment provided June 6, 2013 at 12:06 PM

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22
Betsey writes:

I am not certain the place you’re getting your information, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or working out more. Thanks for fantastic info I used to be on the lookout for this info for my mission.

Comment provided June 12, 2013 at 12:00 AM

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23
ahsan hassan writes:

How magnificient your writing is,how simplicity you show in your articles.I’m really attracted by the style which you use represent the whole theme of your article,God Bless You,Thanks

Comment provided June 13, 2013 at 2:01 PM

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24
ahsan hassan writes:

I really don’t understand the right use of author exper words,Does using unique words boost up your visibility in search engines?

Comment provided June 14, 2013 at 2:39 PM

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25
Meggy writes:

Like Richard, I love to do the daily crossword and have a crossword dictionary of synonyms. Any kind of wordplay exercises will help extend ones vocabulary leading to improved writing. Knowing alternative descriptive words doesn’t mean flooding articles with them, just use them like seasoning, when appropriate and discreetly.

Comment provided July 6, 2013 at 6:58 AM

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26
Fiona McGier writes:

Inevitable, inchoate, recalcitrant. All among the words my parents used daily. In fact it was years of being in school before I realized that everyone didn’t have such a large vocabulary, because these kinds of words were used regularly in my house. I raised my kids the same way, and they’d roll their eyes and explain to their teachers that their mother got her degree in English. Or they’d complain to me that they’d used a word in school again today that even their English teacher didn’t know.

I agree that you need to tailor your writing to your audience. But I don’t feel it’s exceedingly painful if I toss in a large word here and there, to expand my readers’ horizons.

Comment provided September 16, 2014 at 3:52 PM

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David Croucher writes:

You’re right, Fiona, and using apposite but unfamiliar words (especially technical jargon) can be beneficial to the article, provided you follow the rule Shakspere used when he invented new words. He made sure that the word was either/or (1) pretty obvious in context, (2) explained by the context, (3) directly explained.

If you don’t do this for your readership, you will lose them. If you’re just trying to impress people with your scholarship, well OK – but how do you think that makes them feel? If you wanted your meaning to be clear, and they don’t understand, you’ve failed in your aim. Most articles on this site are – ultimately – trying to sell something to the readership, preferably by blog and other publishers republishing your article. Would this happen if the republisher can’t understand you, or feels patronized?

Most authors will want to keep their language simple and, with unfamiliar words, follow Shakspere’s rules.

(Why do I spell his name this way? He did. It’s a thing of mine, but follows those rules.)

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