Presentation on theme: "Word Choice, Commonly Confused Words, & Spelling Brenham Writing Room Created by D. Herring."— Presentation transcript:
Word Choice, Commonly Confused Words, & Spelling Brenham Writing Room Created by D. Herring
Word Choice Problems There are four common word choice problems: 1.Vague and Abstract Words 2.Wordy & Redundant Language 3.Clichés 4.Slang
1. Vague and abstract words Vague and abstract words are too general. They don’t provide readers with a clear idea of your meaning. –That was a good movie. –I felt bad when I woke up. –The dog is small. –Sally won a lot of money at the casino.
Vague and abstract words cont. Try to replace vague and abstract words with concrete words or specific words. –A concrete word names something that can be seen, heard, felt, tasted, or smelled. The movie had many plot twists. I was running a fever when I woke up. –A specific word names a particular individual or quality. The dog weighs only three pounds. Sally won five-thousand dollars at the casino.
2. Wordy and Redundant Language Wordy language results from using too many words to express your thoughts. –Incorrect (I): I haven’t picked a major at this point in time. –Correct (C): I haven’t picked a major yet. –I: Due to the fact that I don’t feel well, I stayed home today. –C: Because I don’t feel well, I stayed home today.
Wordy and Redundant Language Redundant language occurs when you use words that say the same thing. –I: He has reverted back to smoking. –C: He has reverted to smoking. –I: My two twins are celebrating their birthday. –C: My twins are celebrating their birthday.
3. Clichés Clichés are phrases used so often that people no longer pay attention to them. –Writing an “A” paper is easier said than done. –I’ll turn it in late, but it’s better late than never. Avoid using clichés in academic writing.
4. Slang Slang is informal and casual language often shared by a particular group. –My mom chewed me out for coming home late. –I used to not get along with my mom, but we’re cool now. –I was bummed about my midterm grade. The use of slang is inappropriate in formal writing.
Commonly Confused Words Homophones are words that sound alike but have different meanings and are spelled differently. –to, too, two –there, their, they’re –your vs. you’re –its vs. it’s –threw vs. through See comprehensive list on pp. 545- 44 in Little, Brown Handbook.
Strategies to Avoid Misused Words Proofread carefully! –You can’t count on spell-check to catch these words. Use a dictionary. –Look up the words you aren’t sure about; don’t guess! Develop a personal list of words you often confuse! –Consult your list and double- check for these words before turning in any assignment.
Spelling Misspelled words are considered a serious error in writing. Spelling errors leave a bad impression; you are and will continue to be judged by your spelling! If you want to become a better speller, you must practice certain strategies.
Strategies for Improving Spelling 1.Watch for certain words that are always spelled as one word. cannot, nobody, anybody, everybody, somebody, somewhat, wherever, worthwhile, anything, everything.
Strategies for Improving Spelling 2. Master your own “personal spelling demons.” –Create memory aids. –Break the word into parts or say the word phonetically. –Write the word correctly 10 times. –Take a spelling test.
Strategies for Improving Spelling 3. Master commonly confused words. If you can master these words, you can eliminate many of your spelling errors. Use your handout as a tool. 4. Learn the six spelling rules! Use the handout on the Writing Room website as a tool.