On Writing Well - Part I: Chapter 6 Words Summary & Analysis

William Zinsser
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Part I: Chapter 6 Words Summary

Zinsser warns against the use of journalism as a good model for writers. Both journalists and editors fall into the use of cheap words, made-up words, and clichés. A good writer avoids these lethal tiger pits.

Good writers read other good writers, both contemporaries and the classics. Good writers emulate their literary heroes. Good writers love words to the point of obsession and own multiple dictionaries, a Roget's Thesaurus, and a book of synonyms. Good writers want to know all the details about words: the less common meanings, the contrasting words, the shades of meaning among synonyms, and the history (etymology) of words.

Another extremely important characteristic of a good writer is the awareness of the poetry in language, the rhythm and sound of the words together. Zinsser reads all his prose aloud before releasing it into the world, a...

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This section contains 349 words
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