Chosing the right word...

There are many words you can use. Why choose the one that you do? Why do some words appeal and others seem a big turn off? 

When I started writing I used to keep a thesaurus at my side and would look up alternative words just for the sake of using big words that looked impressive. Looking back at some of that early prose, I am embarrassed by how false it sounds.  It doesn't look clever. It looks like a kid has been let loose with a dictionary and has tried to make ordinary prose sound extraordinary by adding little known and little used words.

How many words do you know?  Some research said that the average American high-school graduate knows approximately 45,000 words. Whereas a person with more education or who was widely read would certainly have a larger vocabulary than 60,000 words. Professor David Crystal, known chiefly for his research in English language studies believes  "Most people know about 50,000 words easily. A reasonably educated person about 75,000 and a really cool, smart person more. An ordinary person, one who has not been to university say, would know about 35,000 quite easily." 

So the answer is to use your common sense when choosing which word to use. Write clearly  to show what you mean and not to show the size of your vocabulary.  Using the right word can mean using a short and simple one. 

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