A Few Little Letters Can Make All the Difference

Recently I heard a great anecdote about one little letter. Seems our pastor did a Google search as he researched the parable of the weeds. He typed in “weed” and, well, let’s just say the topic of dandelions didn’t sprout. He had to add an “s” to find the right type of weed. Don’t try this at home and definitely not on a corporate computer. I assure you I didn’t!

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I were dining with industry insiders at a noisy restaurant when an author asked, “Are you taking pictures?” She wasn’t waving a phone, so I knew she wasn’t asking me to take her picture.

Umm, pictures? Did someone (wrongly) say I’m good at photography? Or (wrongly) say I’m an official conference photographer?

We finally realized she meant “pitches” instead. That made more sense. I didn’t feel so bad since my husband also thought she had asked about photography. Again, only a few little letters made all the difference.

When you write, how much effort do you put into finding just the right word or phrase? I don’t mean you need to obsess over every word, only to take care to express yourself as clearly, eloquently, and accurately as possible. A few little letters can make all the difference.

Your turn:

What tools do you use to find the best words for your work?

Are there any words you feel are misused and abused? Which ones?

What is one of the most eloquent sentences you’ve seen?

Leave a Comment

How to Write Better Novels

The Christian Writers Institute is excited to announce a new book by Kathy Tyers called, Writing Deep Viewpoint: Invite Your Readers Into Your Story. (releasing July 14th.) It is one of few fiction craft books to explore the topic of writing the deep point-of-view. Here is what bestselling author Davis …

Read More

Edgy Christian Fiction

In Christian fiction, how do we balance keeping the message strong/not watering it down while still wanting to reach readers beyond Christian bookstores or churches? Thank you Carrie for a great question. This has been an ongoing discussion ever since Christian Fiction became a significant part of the publishing landscape in …

Read More

Time to Play!

As I was considering what to write for this week’s blog, I realized I needed a break from all the seriousness of the last few weeks. Not that I don’t love the “conversations” and insights everyone has shared. But, at the core, I’m a golden-retriever kinda gal, and I gots …

Read More

Choosing Your Words Wisely, Part 2

Here are some of my all-time favorite jokes: To get to the other side. Hugh and only Hugh can stamp out florist friars. Silly Rabbi, kicks are for Trids! Oh, my baking yak! Minnie was called, but Chew was frozen. I better run this through again! Give me a couple …

Read More

Choosing Your Words Wisely, Part 1

There are a number of reasons for the apparent decrease in reading in the world, from attention-span changes brought on by reader’s addiction to various “screens” to climate change. But it might simply be a vocabulary problem. The first time this concept came to me was about 25 years ago …

Read More