I think that using poecilonyms is one of the easiest ways for writers to make their work seem more intriguing and professional. If you’re bracing yourself to learn about some new writing technique or complicated literary device, relax. “Poecilonyms” is just another word for synonyms, which you already work with on a daily basis.
Why Stress About Synonyms?
What are synonyms? Synonyms are words or phrases that have the same meaning as other words or phrases. As writers, why should we care about using them? One reason is that repetition usually undermines our work.
Consider how you feel while listening to someone who uses the same stock word or eccentric phrase in every other sentence. You might be amused, distracted or even annoyed by these reiterations. Readers often have similar reactions when they encounter something over and over.
- Many people find that slowing down while writing helps them reduce repetition in their writing.
- Leaving extra time for editing can help you catch overused words most of the time.
Synonyms Help To Change Things Up
That phrasing made those sentences a little painful to read, but a few synonyms could smooth out the awkward patches. This isn’t the only reason that great writers mix up their wording whenever they can, though. A varied vocabulary can make you sound more creative, informed or articulate. Finding new ways to express the same thoughts is also part of what makes writing with synonyms fun.
- To eliminate overused words, I sometimes beg people to proofread my work for phrasing that I have exhausted.
- Considering how painful revising my own writing can be, it’s not surprising that I usually have to bribe my friends to do this editing.
Synonyms Allow You To Avoid Repetition
Of course, even the best writers can get stuck in linguistic ruts. One of my favorite things about working on a computer (besides the Undo command) is that discovering new words takes minimal effort. You only need a minute to search through a thesaurus online or in a word processor to start writing with synonyms.
What if you can’t find direct synonyms for terms that have precise meanings or lack widely known substitutes? You can always use paraphrased definitions.
- Kids really appreciate the concept of synonyms. When they call each other names, for instance, they’re usually ready to break out dozens of different words that mean the same thing.
- My friend’s habit of describing everything as “vexing” quickly became frustrating and irritating.
Synonyms Empower You To Stay Creative
If you’re writing about a topic with specialized jargon, or if you know you have certain go-to words, try specifically searching for those terms in your work and finding synonyms for them. You might be surprised to see how much you rely on some of them. Once you focus on shaking up your wording, though, it should be easy to start expanding your vocabulary and making even the dullest topics seem more interesting.
Synonyms Are Synonymous With Success
Do you have any questions or personal strategies for avoiding repetition in your own writing? What are some of your favorite synonyms to use in place of common words? Tell us about it below!