Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Copying others harms us more than those we copy

Substitute “damn” every time you're inclined to write “very”; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.
- Mark Twain, author and humorist (1835-1910)

The advice is to writers, but it applies elsewhere in our lives.

We use too many words called emphasizers. Words such as power, super and blowout no longer have meaning because they have been used too often in too many inappropriate contexts. Even the word sex is so ambiguous that you must consider every part of the context of its use before you can know for certain what the user meant.

English has more words than any other existing language. Any idea can usually be expressed in several different ways while still maintaining its intended meaning.

When we use expressions that others have used too often, we debase not the language but the credibility that others have of us.

Don't copy the trite words and phrases used or overused by others. Find your own way to express yourself.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to teach everyone how to be an individual within an interdependent social context.
Learn more at http://billallin.com/cgi/index.pl

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