Synonyms

horsesm.gifUsing synonyms–words that have nearly the same meaning–in the same sentence is a common cause of clutter. It’s also a sign of confusion about the subtle differences in the meanings of the words. The following sentence is a clear and simple example:

The oil companies aren’t reinvesting their huge profits in ways that will reduce our oil addiction habit.

Because “addiction” and “habit” are synonyms, using both of them is overkill. Either of the following would do:

The oil companies aren’t reinvesting their huge profits in ways that will reduce our oil addiction.

The oil companies aren’t reinvesting their huge profits in ways that will reduce our oil habit.

Which word is better, “addiction” or “habit”? That is up to the writer, whose task it is to study the definitions of the two words and make a choice.

Cheers,

Tara Treasurefield

Treasurefield Communications

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About 123clear

I translate foggy information into plain English.
This entry was posted in clear thinking, clutter, conciseness, repetition, synonyms, word usage. Bookmark the permalink.

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