Words Matter

Does every word count?

Writers think so! They think grammar and punctuation does too.

Discussions about a comma can be endless. Even a pause makes a difference to a writer. Remember Meryl Streep in The Bridges of Madison County?

However, word choice trumps all of that, and has greater value or impact today.

But, writers are schooled to use actions verbs.

This is when a thesaurus is worth its weight in gold.

Instead of hate. . . a writer might use, dislike, prefers, or never cared for. Instead of angry he could choose, annoyed, upset or bothered.

For example;

                    John hates people who wear purple underwear.

                     John dislikes people who wear purple underwear.

However, both sentences have a problem. John is being targeted, not his underwear. The person hates yellow underwear. (I have no preference about other people’s underwear or if they wear underwear. However, . . . I cringe at the latest fashion, t-strap bikini swimwear.)

I’m getting sidetracked. Back to the point, what you say has power.

Man sentence for Murder, a story in this Sunday’s Daytona New Journal, got my attention. After reading the article I felt sorry for the man.

Here’s what happened. Joel Tatro told James Z. Powell, 15 at the time, he was not invited to and had to leave a gathering at Tatro’s home in 2019. Powell left and came back and shot the homeowner. Paralyzed from the neck now, the homeowner lived for three more years, then died from COVID.

James Z. Powell chose these words to express his condolences to the Tatro family.

Quote from the newspaper. “But this situation was never supposed to happen. This was a COVID death, sir. I never had no intention of doing no harm to him. I’m not the person that they are trying to paint me to be. I’m not a criminal. I’m not a gang member. I’m just me.


. . . just saying

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