(It's been quiet here. Big shout out to Opeyemi (Yemight Dateewhy) for his awesome work in showing us how to use WritersPay to our advantage)
Words. They make up languages. We use them in every day speech. We play with them, mix them up, and use them in the most creative ways possible. And sometimes we just mess things up, big time, using words.
People like to say that the English language isn't an 'original' language because it is made up of words borrowed from several other languages, including Latin, French, Greek, German, and Spanish. Be that as it may, it is still a language, and the most widely spoken at that, and there are rules to using it, just as there are rules to using very other language.
It pains me when someone uses a word wrongly, and when corrected, they say, "It is not my language, so I don't care." Then don't speak it na! That is the height of ignorance, but that is a rant for another day. Mtchew. This post is about something different.
As writers, we have taken on the task of using these words to paint pictures for our audience to 'see' as they read, and this is not an easy task. The words we use in our poems, stories, and articles, determine how well our audience will connect with what we have written. Have you ever heard anyone say, "As I was reading that book, it was just as if I was watching a movie"? Whoever wrote that book used their words well.
There are different words to explain different things, and there are different words to explain the same thing. To bring your writing alive, you need to know what words to use, when to use them, and where to use them.
If you're writing a play for a literary audience, i.e. people who think Shakespeare is the bomb, you would be remiss not to use words such as 'thine', 'thus', 'hence', 'tarry', and 'thy'.
If you're writing for a more contemporary audience, i.e. young adults, those words will not work. You would have to go with 'your', 'and then', 'now', and 'don't be late'.
As a writer, a dictionary and a thesaurus should be some of your closest friends. A thesaurus is a book that contains synonyms and antonyms. With this, you will know that instead of 'show' you can use 'prove', 'teach', 'tell', 'guide', 'arrive', or 'illustrate'. Instead of using 'very tired' you can use 'exhausted', 'fatigued', 'weary', or 'dog-tired'. You will know that 'timid' and 'primitive' do not mean the same thing, and that using 'phobia' to replace 'fear' is a bit too much (especially when it is just a fear and not a phobia). And if there is a word you want to use that you can't spell, just use another one.
There are so many words to use to get your vision across, so don't limit yourself. Have fun with it, correctly.