writingHave you ever stopped to think about the purpose of vocabulary? Your objectives in choosing words should be clarity and precision.

Small words are usually the clearest and easiest to understand. When we say prefer clear familiar words, this does not mean never use a large word. Rather, do not use a large word when you can say exactly the same thing with a smaller one.

Small words are usually more precise. You may be surprised to learn that large words are usually less precise than small ones. Remember the objective is to be clear and precise - at the receiving end.

Do not use 'facilitate' when you could say 'help'. Do not use 'utilize' when you could say 'use' or 'endeavor' when you could say 'try' or 'sufficient' when you could say 'enough'.

Your attitude toward choice of words is a major factor in determining how clear your writing will be. Granted, 'sufficient' is not much harder to read than 'enough.' But it is an unnecessary overload. Because the word 'sufficient' is a lot less common than the word 'enough' it causes the reader to think more about the meaning. If your attitude is to choose words harder than needed, you may do that several times every sentence - perhaps 30 or 40 times on a page.

Imagine the burden of reading sentence after sentence, paragraph after paragraph, written in such a style. Readers would not have much hope of receiving much information.

You will certainly need some large words. Simply do not use them when you can say the same thing with small words. The large words you will probably need will be the vocabulary of your profession i.e. banking.

Develop a large vocabulary, by all means, but use it only when you know that the reader is familiar with the same words or terminology. Do not show off with it. Have the large words available when you need them, but you should not need most of them very often.

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