Which Word

Anxiety and Stress and its Destructive Qualities

C.S. Lewis is best known for “The Chronicles of Narnia,” but he also wrote extensively on the subject of writing. "C.S. Lewis and the Art of Writing" by Corey Latta is a wonderful reference for aspiring writers. Because most speakers first write out their material, there are direct applications for our Tip readers. Lewis’ advice:

Always use language so as to make quite clear what you mean and make sure your sentence couldn’t mean anything else. As the Cambridge Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature, Lewis undoubtedly longed for clear, direct prose.

Always prefer the plain direct word to the long, vague one. Clarity focuses attention on your content, not the packaging. For example, “Keep,” don’t “implement” promises.

Never use abstract nouns when concrete ones will do. "More people died,” not “mortality rose.”

Don’t use adjectives which tell us how you want us to feel about something. So, rather than “terrible,” describe what will make us feel terrified.

Don’t use words too big for the subject. Authors call this “finding the voice.” In speaking, it is your tone, mood or style tuned to your audience.

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