Quick Tip: Use the Right Word

When we ponder definitions of words, we most often think about their denotative meaning–how the dictionary defines them.

However, words also have connotative (implied) definitions. For example, blue is, by strict definition a color. But if we say “Julie is blue,” we don’t literally mean she’s that color. Rather, we’re implying that she’s sad, maybe even depressed. We’d understand its meaning by its context.

Choose words that fit the story’s context, both connotative and denotative. By using the right words in the right context, by being precise., we can help readers visualize what we’ve written.

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