(Sorry about the delay in this post - technical glitch....or computer had jet lag)
Word Choice...finding the exact word to express, say, demonstrate what you need to say is something that can put me at a standstill. When DH is writing a press release we can spend hours on because he is writing for a global market where some of the subtlety of word choice is lost. English is a language of nuances, which change not only from English ‘English’ but to North American ‘English’ to Irish ‘English’ and so on. It was a minefield I had walked through when I moved to the UK in 1989.
Take the word fulfil. What does it mean? What could you use instead? Straightforward, not entirely...
1. 1.Achieve something
2. 2.Carry out order
3. 3.Satisfy something
4. 4.Complete something
5. 5. Supply something
6. 6.Realize ambitions
Above are six subtly different meanings for the same word. At what point do you lose the easily understood accepted meaning and move on to one that a reader might not grasp immediately....
Having lived in the UK on and off since 1989 and been married to an Englishman since 1991 I don’t know where I fall anymore on the use of language anymore, but I still recall one of my sister-in-law’s asking me if I meant ‘quite’ in the English way or the American. I looked blankly at her unaware of the difference...quite.
So my question for you is – where do you fall in the language camp? UK? US? Globish? And finally do think about your reader when you are choosing your words?
Please come back on Thursday to see what Biddy has to say...