Top Tips for Everyday Writing - Language
Analysing Your Language
It is worthwhile taking some time to really think about the types of language and vocabulary you choose to use in your everyday writing. Take a look at something you have written recently, from a brief note to an e-mail. If you use a different colour pen to circle all the words that seem to belong in a similar group then you will start to see patterns emerge.
Highlight, for example, any long, complex words in one colour, aggressive or strong vocabulary in another, ingratiating or apologetic language in another and so on. It is very common to find that one group will greatly outweigh the other in each individual’s writing style, and you may be quite surprised to find out what your personal tendencies are.
If you tend to write very strongly and emphatically, with lots of aggressive vocabulary, try varying it and tempering it with more balanced views or try to force your own opinion on the reader a little less. If you are being very passive and apologetic, have a go at being a little stronger in your language and standing up for your argument a bit more.
Playing around with the type of language you use in this way can really have a dramatic effect on your writing and might open up whole new avenues for you to explore.
Using language for tone and style
Furthermore, you can use language to hugely influence the style and tone of your writing and to make it immediately appropriate for a specific audience or situation. For example, using formal language, omitting abbreviations and colloquialisms and writing in longer, more complex sentences, can instantly add gravitas and weight to a formal letter, article or speech.
Using nicknames or slang and shortening words to vocabulary in more common usage on the other hand, can create an accessible and informal tone which will draw readers in to an intimate article or a confidential letter.