Thursday, September 8, 2011

Good vocabulary is a basis for good writing

In a recent column in the Student Lawyer, Bryan Garner tells aspiring legal writers, “You need words at your disposal. Lots of them. Interesting words. Apt words.”  Garner is not advising students to load their writing with long words. Quite the contrary: if they have good vocabularies, they will be able to see where they can replace an arcane word with an everyday equivalent.

Garner writes that a good way to start expanding vocabulary is to “consider it a mortal sin to read past a word you don’t know.”  Note all unfamiliar words, look them up, and then use them within 48 hours.


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