One of the most satisfying aspects of being a writer is having the opportunity to choose from an endless number of ways to express a single thought or idea. And, while there are lots of different ways to say something with the same literal meaning, how you say it is just as important as what you say.
To a large extent, the specific words we choose to express our ideas are what makes the difference between a lousy writer and a great writer. Those choices also reveal a lot about a writer as a person.
For the past year, I’ve put a lot of study into the difference between positive and negative language. Negative language is easy to spot. When you start encountering words like can’t, won’t, doesn’t, shouldn’t, couldn’t and wouldn’t chances are that you’ve taken a turn into negative town – and that’s just a sampling of words from the apostrophized list. There are plenty of others including unfortunately, concerned, disappointed, regrettably and a host of others you can choose from.
Oddly enough, negative words are used to express all sorts of ideas ranging from negative to neutral or even positive. For example:
A positive writing style can pay big dividends