Do people understand what you’re saying? Do they understand the words you use? Are you too descriptive and lose your reader immediately?
Well, something to keep in mind – who is your audience?
I was writing a couple of articles for a newsletter not long ago and learned later that some of the readers didn’t know a word I used. Is this good or bad? Is it good that they had to go to a dictionary to look up the word? Or, is it bad? Because not knowing a word used could cause confusion in the message you’re trying to get across. That totally defeats the purpose.
It’s a fine line to walk when writing. Do you presume that everyone will understand and/or take the time or interest to look up a word? Do you change your style because you’re just not sure? Or, do you just not worry – and be yourself?
Personally, I vote for the “be yourself” part. If you second guess everything you do, your message will get muddied and lost. Your readers will wonder just what it is you’re trying to say and why are you taking so many words to say something that could be conveyed in fewer words.
You see, I tend to “babble” enough as it is, if I were to think of a sentence to cover one word…well people would really give up on me.
Oh for the articles? It’s mixed. Some looked up the word (and were thrilled to learn the meaning), some had no idea and felt I didn’t make sense, others thought I was insulting them, and others were happy that I explained the word to them (they didn’t look it up) and were happy to learn something new.
Quite the mixed bag of reactions, don’t you think?