Thursday, August 07, 2014

A Short Thing on the Word "Thing" (a Throw Back Thursday Post, with a Van Gogh Quote)

This is a post I wrote on a previous blog on February 29, 2012, which I will tell you was a Wednesday in case you need to know. And, yes, I am posting it again here because I didn't have time to write a new post for today!
Vincent Van Gogh - He had a way with words!
I often notice writers using the word thing when a more descriptive word is available. It bugs me when they do that. It bugs me even more when I do it, which I do. But no one should use the word thing unless they truly, absolutely have no other choice. What we need is clarity.

For instance, how often have you said, "I am going to try to get some things done today"? Instead, why not say you are going to try to get some stuff done today? See? Better already. The word stuff is so descriptive compared to the word thing. Everyone knows what stuff is.

Or what about this: "Did you see that thing she did?" So much less buggy to say, "Did you see that stunt she pulled?" Unless it was not a stunt at all, but an accomplishment. Then you would say, "Did you see what she did?" Eradicating the word thing solves so many communication problems.

First things first, from this day forward, I am going to master this thing and not use the word thing in my writing if I don't have to. I really think it is the thing to do before things get out of control. I cannot think of another thing that will improve one's writing more than thinking things through before putting a single thing on paper.

"If one is master of one thing and understands one thing well, one has at the same time, insight into and understanding of many things." Vincent Van Gogh

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