Writing Tips and Speaking Tips - A Word on Words

Words are the tools of thought

Tom reading his prize-winning short story 'The Longest Day' to an ACSCAA audience in Sydney in 2008
Tom reading his prize-winning short story 'The Longest Day' to an ACSCAA audience in Sydney in 2008

Words are the tools of thought

Welcome to Writing Tips and Speaking Tips - A Word On Words.

Words are the tools of thought. Wooly words: wooly thought. They are the implements with which we communicate, with ourselves as well as with other people. Our "verbal thought" depends entirely upon word-symbols. We can extend an idea by just one step beyond where we can comprehend it in words - one tentative step an no more. An idea pursued beyond the lattice-work of words is like a slender tendril which has no permanent grip upon our consciousness. Before we can incorporate this new idea, this amorphous shoot which envisions a virgin idea, we must be able to sybolize it- put it in words. If we cannot do this, the idea fails to geminate and we cease to grow.

Thought tools : A large working vocabulary is essential

If we are to become effective at writing it behoves us plenty of thought tools.   That means we need to have:

1. A large working vocabulary (those words which we habitually use and make use of readily) and,

2. to be perpetually endeavouring to acquire an ever-growing non-working vocabulary (Those words we do not habitually use, but know the meaning of) with which we can stock the working vocabulary as the need arises.

Let your vocabulary be wide and varied

Let your vocabulary range be wide and varied, so that you widen your horizons and enhance your creativity.
Let your vocabulary range be wide and varied, so that you widen your horizons and enhance your creativity.

Let your vocabulary contain words that bring closeness

Capture people hearts with the words you use.  Bring feelings of belonging and companionship and real emotion.  You have the words for it.
Capture people hearts with the words you use. Bring feelings of belonging and companionship and real emotion. You have the words for it.

Writing Tips and Speaking Tips - A word on words

The acquirement of an adequate and useful vocabulary requires more conscious effort than does its non-working counterpart. The latter can be achieved by wide-reading. But in considering the sort of working vocabulary we might want, several points need to be considered. For example, the usefulness or utility of the words at our instant disposal: their consciseness, their colourfulness (for good visualization - for we think it pictures)

Let your vocabulary put pictures in people's minds

Sunset over my backyard fence.  Do you have the words to describe such beauty?
Sunset over my backyard fence. Do you have the words to describe such beauty?

New words for new concepts

 Of course, in many areas of specialization adequate words do not exist.   At other times, they existed but were rarely used.   The word icon is an example of this.  Twenty-five years ago the word icon was so rarely used that the first time I heard it I had to look it up in a dictionary.   But, in some cases, completely new words have to be invented to cover concepts that are unique.  But such unique events are rare.   They do not account for the proliferation of jargon and technical language that abounds in our society today.   Laziness accounts for this.

Let your the words in your vocabulary multiply

Keep adding little words.  Before you know it you have more than just a few.
Keep adding little words. Before you know it you have more than just a few.

Don't be a bird-brain: build your vocabulary

Cute, eh? Their vocabulary seems to be fairly limited, though...
Cute, eh? Their vocabulary seems to be fairly limited, though...

So you want to be writer? Think on my words

I take it that you're reading this because you want to become a better writer, more effective, more successful. Well, think on my words then - write. And write some more. And more still. Keep at it. Every day write something. Practice makes perfect. You'll never be perfect. No one is. But you'll improve gradually, inexorably, and inevitably, if you keep up the practice.

Hopefully you can now appreciate why thought tools - that is a good range of the right type of words - are essential. Like a good tradesman, you need the right tools. And the tools of thought are words.

But, to retirate, build up your vocabulary, especially your working vocabulary: read widely, delve into many fields. In that way you will familiarize yourself with the specialist languages of those fields. When you can readily use the words of the mariner, the aviator, the policeman, the truck driver, the farmer as well as the office worker, you'll be getting to where you probably need to be. Learn these languages- within-languages. But most of all write - write - WRITE!

I hope you gained something from Writing Tips and Speaking Tips - A Word On Words.

Keep smiling,

Tom.

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