As everyone knows, words are the main means of expression. For a writer they are his or her stock in trade, but they are hopelessly inadequate for the job expected of them. Why?
First, words have denotations that continually change due to the way people use them. Since language is always evolving with the progress of culture, new meanings are continually added to old words. As well, new words are coined to fit the changes in technology, in location, and in lifestyle.
Second, words convey different meanings to persons because their experience is exclusive depending upon their encounter with each word. These connotations are emotional responses to the word that can be positive, negative, or neutral although seldom are they neutral. That is why writers and speakers are partial to certain words and have an aversion to others. Writers, like all people, have favorite words and often use them indiscrimately.
As a result, words are hopelessly inadequate to express exactly what the writer is trying to convey; they can never express precisely the idea, the feeling, the view, and even the fact the writer wishes to relay to the reader. So it is very important that the writer choose words carefully and thoughtfully.
Charles O. Goulet has a BA in history and a BEd in English literature so he writes historical novels, most based on Canadian history. He may be contacted at: