Using English Words

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Choose common English words with clear meanings : explain a problem instead of address a problem; invisible, open or obvious instead of transparent.

Especially if your document may have many readers with limited English proficiency or be translated for them, choose words with just one or a few clear meanings. Also avoid puns and words with double meanings: voters instead of grassroots; available instead of free if that's what you mean. For more shorter, simpler alternatives to overstated, bureaucratic and pompous words.

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Use only as many words as you need. Use fewer structural words with little meaning: because or since instead of due to the fact that; if instead of in the event that. For more simpler, concise alternatives to wordy, bureaucratic phrases. Avoid using wordy phrases and multiple words with similar meanings or unhelpful redundancies. For example, try protrude , not protrude out ; either if or when , not if and when ; result , not end result ; square , not square in shape ; experience , not past experience ; demolished , not totally demolished; visible, not visible to the eye; complete or finished, not completely finished; four hours, not four hours of time; 5 feet high, not 5 feet in height.

Later, go through your document and ask yourself if you're repeating information needlessly. If so, combine your thoughts or remove the matching ideas. For more concise replacements for redundant phrases.

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Using unfamiliar jargon and bureaucratese can cause problems because your reader may not understand it. Jargon also can distract your reader from your real message. Write boots , not leather personnel carriers ; telephone , not telephonic communications instrument ; advocate for the homeless , not homeless advocate; next to or near, not adjacent to; make easy or help or lead, not facilitate.

Try inviting people into a planning process , not a visioning process. Trendy terminology could confuse or annoy readers and date it.

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Whenever possible, avoid words that your readers do not know. Every occupation and interest group has special terms. If you must use a technical term, define it--either by giving a definition, explaining the term or by giving an example.


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If suitable for your publication, think about including a glossary of technical words and difficult terms. And avoid rare or fancy words used within your work group or profession , like nexus and infrastructure. Boo — noun Boo is very similar to Bae.

Example is Love you Boo! Often used in terms of parties, gatherings, or clubs.

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Lit — adj Lit has a very similar meaning to poppin. Ride or Die adj — Originally a term that bikers used, ride or die is used in American Spoken English to refer to best friend, lover or partner. Dope- adj A general word that describe anything or anyone as being very fun, exciting, or cool. While it can be used to describe a person, it is most often used in American slang English to describe experiences or things that someone thinks is amazing.

However, it is generally used as the answer to a question rather than in the middle of a sentence. Squad — adj Squad refers to your group of friends in slang English. In conversational English or in the world of social media, this is a very commonly used expression.

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Mood — verb Mood refers something that is relevant. Chill- adj, verb Another common colloquial word in American informal vocabulary. It can also be used as a verb meaning you are relaxing, and being easy going. It is also used as a verb to say you are getting very drunk.

How To Learn And Use 1000 English Vocabulary Words

You can use this slang word to describe everything from food to music. Drop- verb A word used when enlightening someone with information. JavaScript is currently disabled, this site works much better if you enable JavaScript in your browser. Free Preview. Buy eBook.


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  • Buy Softcover. FAQ Policy. About this book Using English Words examines the impact that the life histories of people have on their vocabulary.