Diction is the choice of words that you use to communicate your idea, feeling, thought and purpose to others. Your word choice must be specific to fit the context of a situation or an event you are describing through speech or written piece of information.
If you’re an aspiring professional author who writes web content, blogs, articles, voiceovers, manuscripts, stories, novella, essays, media releases or any other piece of writing, you have to make sure that you use eloquent words to communicate a message unambiguously, which ensures that readers decipher exactly what you want to convey to them.
Though English is the criterion by which speech and descriptive writing are majorly judged, judgments about the acceptable usage are hard to define because of the dynamic nature of English. All in all, word choice is made in the context of a given piece of writing, which means it can be appropriate for one piece of writing but inappropriate for another.
Following are the diction issues that require timely consideration while writing:
Variations in the language
Everyday a new word is introduced, old words are discarded, and some old words assume new meanings. As a professional writer, you need to stay abreast with current diction trends. For instance, as per new rules passed by Oxford guidelines, you don’t need to put a full stop (.) after etc and contractions like Dr, Mr, and the like. Beware of the regional use of informal words as some words used in the UK may be interpreted with a different meaning in the USA.
Which style to opt for – formal or informal
Your writing style and sentence structure will vary according to readers for whom you’re writing. For instance, the writing style for a letter to the boss of a company to talk about grievances you‘ve been facing will definitely differ from the style of a letter to your friend. When you’re writing a letter to a person in authority, your tone will be formal. You’ll not use contractions, informal words and slangs. You need stronger vocabulary to communicate your thoughts effectively with a concerned person. However, when you write to your family and friends, you are free to use informal language.
Distinguishing between commonly confused words
Some words are easily confused because of their same spellings and pronunciations, which often leads to ambiguous meaning. For instance, advice and advise, pour over and pore over, accept and except, aisle and isle, all together and altogether, altar and alter, assent and ascent, bare and bear, berth and birth, and much more.
Issues while Using figurative language
Figurative language requires the use of metaphors, simile, personification, and hyperbole. Figurative language makes writing engaging and appealing. For instance, write “the sun was peeping out clouds” instead “the sun was rising”. However, you have to be careful with the use of figurative language. A paragraph loaded with various similes and metaphors will be difficult to understand. If you’re using figurative language, make sure that it is relevant for the character.
To summarise, words choice is no more a cinch for you. You have to set a tone, atmosphere and mood in your writing for your audience. The best way to deal with such challenges is reading well-applauded literary works by renowned authors.