From Kate’s Writing Crate…
Last week I reviewed One Word: Contemporary Writers on the Words They Love or Loathe edited by Molly McQuade. This week I wrote about a word I love. In fact, it's my word of the year.
My favorite word is perspicacious, an adjective based on the noun perspicacity. I would have picked perspicacity, but it’s too harsh sounding when pronounced. Perspicacious rolls off the tongue.
I think being perspicacious—acutely perceptive, discerning—is like having a super power. It makes you an excellent judge of character, intuitive, wise, and a better writer as words like perspicacious reinforce the importance of finding the right word instead of dragging your writing down with explanatory phrases.
When I looked up perspicacious in The American Heritage Dictionary to double check the definition, I discovered perspicuity, defined as the quality of being perspicuous, with the sentence example “He was at pains to insist on the perspicuity of what he wrote.” Perspicuous is defined as clearly expressed or presented.
Professional writers are required to clearly express themselves by using the right words—to be exact. To find the right words, I recommend referring to The Synonym Finder by J. I. Rodale and the Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus. They will help you become a perspicacious writer.
For more information, I wrote about these two books in a post dated 6/9/14.