3 Words Writers Shouldn't Use
So I'm reading this book right now...
And I hate it.
I'm reading it for school so I can't just throw it at the wall and leave it to disappear on my floor under a pile of laundry and empty bottles of Chardonnay.
But sometimes it's good to read a book you don't like in order to figure out what isn't working for you. As a writer, I think it's just as important to know what not to do.
What I've learned I hate about this book is that the author uses too much pretentious vocabulary. I'm not the smartest person in the world, but I am getting my Masters in writing and I don't like it when an author makes me feel stupid for not knowing as many big words as he does.
So in honour of my stupidity, here are 3 words writers should never use, all of which I found in this book I'm currently reading.
Oxford Dictionary Definition: Traveling from place to place, especially working or based in various places for relatively shot periods: the peripatetic nature of military life
Actual Definition: Author got bored of describing character's movement through locations and sceneries.
Oxford Dictionary Definition: The presence of something only in small or insufficient quantities or amounts; scarcity: a paucity of information
Actual Definition: Author thinks he or she is too smart to use the word "scarcity"
Oxford Dictionary Definition: Relating to or characteristic of the German rationalist philosopher, mathematician, and logician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz or his ideas: a restatement of the Leibnizian system
Actual Definition: Author wants you to know that he or she not only took a philosophy course in college, but also paid attention and got a really really good grade!
I'm all about expanding my vocabulary, but when I have to look up a word every few paragraphs the book starts to feel pretentious and inaccessible. Why use an obscure academic word when there are plenty of more evocative and easily understandable alternatives? Let me know what you think in the comments!