Showing posts from October, 2013

William the Conqueror and the importance of diction

Everyone knows what diction is--you find it in dictionaries! Really, though, diction is fundamental to writing. The diction you choose determines much of the tone and mood of your writing. Here's how.

Diction=word choice. Just that simple. For example, in, English, I can choose a simple word (spit) or a fancy word (expectorate). They have the same meaning, but vastly different derivations (origins) and connotations (emotions and attitudes attached to the word). Spit has this origin: [Middle English, from spitten, to spit, from Old English spittan, ultimately of imitative origin.], so it's a sturdy peasant word straight from ye merrie olde Anglo-Saxon England. Expectorate is much more explicit: [Latin expectorre, expectort-, to drive from the chest : ex-, ex- + pectus, pector-, chest.]. It's from Latin and came into English either directly or through French, the language of William the Conqueror, whose French court ruled England after he successfully invaded the island in 10…