This blog is brobdingnagian.
Are you scratching your head, wondering why I would talk like this? I donât talk like this.
Have you already headed over to a dictionary website to see what brobdingnagian means? Thatâs where I found its meaning. My Microsoft Word Processor doesnât even recognize it as a word.
Deduct $5 now
If you strip this 14-letter word of its pomp and circumstance, you get this: big. Brobdingnagian is one of those $5 words that do not belong in a blog post and can be substituted for a word worth a dime.
Why should $5 words be avoided?
- It takes unnecessary time for a reader to look them up. Most people have limited time and want to read through a blog without spending undue time with a dictionary in hand or in another tab.
- Brobdingnagian words are likely to send readers searching for more reader-friendly blogs. Who wants to read a blog that needs an interpreter? Not me.
- If youâre making a call to action in your blog, how can your readers act on something they do not understand?
Iâm not saying that you have to dumb your writing down. There is no hard and fast rule that says you have to stick to words no longer than seven letters. People do have to understand what youâre trying to say. If they donât, they are not going to stick around on your blog.
When I wrote for the newspaper, my boss told us that our readersâ level was that of fifth graders. He told us they would not continue to buy papers if we wrote at a higher level. I always remembered that because I used to write poetry, and I liked to pepper my poems with $5 words. That was fine for something personal, but for the public, it was unacceptable.
Explanations for technical terminology
Most of us writers donât have a problem getting rid of complicated, unheard of words. However, we might be involved in a field that uses several acronyms and abbreviations. I didnât know that a-s stood for all-sung.
There also might be words that are common in a certain field, like quadrille. But to laymen, that means absolutely nothing.
If your audience knows the acronyms and technical terms you use, you donât necessarily have to explain them every time. But if you think you just might get a newbie or novice, I suggest you provide an explanation the first time you introduce the word in a post. After that, you donât have to mention it again.
If you donât want to do that, be sure to provide the resources for newcomers to your blog, so they can easily locate the meanings of words like concerto grosso and obbligato. The easiest way to do this is to add a glossary.
Add high quality
After you subtract all the $5 words, what are you left with? If itâs not much, youâre doing something wrong. Blogs should serve their readers as a well of resourceful and/or entertaining information. They should quench their readersâ thirst for knowledge.
When you provide your audience with a usable message, they wonât want a refund on your 10-cent words. Theyâll take it to the bank.
What do you do to make sure people understand what youâre writing?
Terez Howard operates TheWriteBloggers, a professional blogging service which builds clientsâ authority status and net visibility. She regularly blogs at Freelance Writing Mamas . You’ll find her on Twitter @thewriteblogger
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