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The Power of the Right Word

Mark Twain said, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter–it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”

That’s what make the 100 books on the Time list so good. These authors have the ability to find the right words over and over again to express what they are trying to say. After all, it’s not just what you say–it’s how you say it.

When I write, I usually get my thoughts down during my first draft. And during my second review, I look for ways to express myself even better–to find the right words, so to speak.

Take a look at this video. Here’s a great example of the power of using the right words. Does your writing process include time to find the right words?

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8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Matt #

    I saw that video last week on Twitter. Love it. It’s very moving.

    April 27, 2011
  2. When I write, I find myself constantly fiddling and always changing the wording. At some point you have to stop. When you find that perfect word the first time it is a miracle.

    April 27, 2011
    • Yep. It’s a process but you have to be careful about over-analyzing.

      April 27, 2011
  3. Patti #

    Wow – that got me. I wasn’t expecting that I would start crying. Words are powerful.

    April 27, 2011
  4. GREAT video. I have chills.

    April 27, 2011
  5. Ben #

    Thanks for sharing. But I got an error while playing it <_<

    April 27, 2011
  6. I have that quote from Twain in one of my presentations on word use and abuse. I’m snagging this video too. :)

    April 28, 2011
  7. I’ve seen this video before — and loved it! Wonderful example of “le mot juste” as the French say.

    April 28, 2011

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