Word usage for the memoir writer
Every once in a while, I send you a few of my verbal pet peeves. Here are a few other unfortunate phrases that have come my way recently.
1. Amazon just today was offering me a “free gift.” Awfully good of them to make gifts free. It’s a rather innovative concept—don’t you think?
2. There was also a case I came across of “first introduction.” I wish people would skip the first introductions and go immediately into the second introductions. We are so busy these days! And while we’re at it…
3. How about “final conclusion?” Can’t we skip the earlier conclusions?
4. “Most well-known” is somehow different from “well-known,” but I haven’t figured it out. That goes for “most pre-emminent.”
5. I’ve already complained about “first priority” so I wanted to let that one go, but a cursory search of the internet revealed flagrant misdemeanors among eponymous speakers and writers (alas!) [Below, I have eliminated first names so as not to embarrass anyone.] If something is in second priority, is it still a priority or merely a to-do item among others? How about sixteenth priority?
- “Here at Ledoux & Co. , we are forward thinking, strive for excellence & always keep our guests the first priority.”
- County Commissioner XX LeDoux [in a campaign statement]: “My first priority is to help this County prosper through…”
- Real estate agent Y Ledoux… “is successful because she never loses sight of what is important to people. Your home is her first priority.”
- there were more examples but why drag family through the mud more than I have!
6. “Had previously done” is so necessary as one might confuse it with “had done.”
7. And, I love “historical antecedent” as so many antecedents occur in the future that one has to distinguish between the two!
Correct word usage is not irrelevant.
As writers, we use words as our tools of communication. It is, therefore, important to have a firm grasp of meaning and word usage.
And your verbal pet peeves when it comes to word usage? Share them below in the comments.
We have helped many people whose lives demanded to be recorded but who themselves were not writers to create interesting and well-written memoirs.
We listen to you speak your story. We ask you a multitude of questions. Then we get to work writing. We come back to you with text and you make lots of corrective comments and we ask you a whole lot of new questions. Then, we go back to writing again.
Over time, your story develops into a memoir—one that you have shaped at every stage of the writing process.
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