Monday, March 7, 2011

Small Words

Short words are as good as long ones, and short, old words - like sun and grass and home - are best of all. More small words than you might think can meet your needs with a strength, grace and charm that large words don't have.

Big words can bog down: one may have to read them three or four times to make out what they mean. Small words we seem to have known from the time we were born, like the hearth firer that warms the home.

Short words are bright like sparks that glow in the night, moist like the sear that laps the shore, sharp like the blade of a knife, hot like salt tears that scald the cheek, quick like moths that flit from flame to flame, and terse like the dart and sting of a bee.

Richard Lederer from Writer’s Digest, May 1989.


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Rita -

Thanks for this quote.

Whenever I'm tempted to use a flowery or pretentious word, I remember my purpose: to communicate. I don't want to draw attention to myself but to reach the reader's heart.

Susan :)

Rita Gerlach said...

That's good advice we can all follow, Susan.