Words, Words, Words
Choosing the Right Words to Explain Ideas and Express Emotions (The Writing Code Series Book 9)
(Kindle Edition)

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“The difference between the right word and the almost right word,” Mark Twain once said, “is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.”

If sentences and paragraphs make up the basic structure of writing, words provide the planks and nails and screws. To create the best structures, we need not only good method but also good materials. So what's the best way to pick these materials?

In "Words, Words, Words," author and teacher Charles Euchner shows you how to:

• Use simple words, almost always.
• Deploy longer words as precision instruments.
• Use active verbs ... Even to describe passivity.
• Pay attention to function words.
• Avoid bureaucratese, academese, and words that lie.
• Avoid aggressive adjectives.
• Ban adverbs, almost always.
• Verb your nouns and noun your verbs, cautiously.

This concise how-to guide not only offers step-by-step guides to picking the right words, but also case studies of John McPhee’s "The Curve of Binding Energy," the essays of William F. Buckley, Laura Hillenbrand’s "Unbroken," Ivan Goncharov’s "Oblomov," James Pennebaker’s "The Secret Life of Pronouns," Fredric Jameson’s "Signatures of the Visible," Tom Wolfe’s “Girl of the Year,” J.K. Rowling’s "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," and fragments from all over.


Charles Euchner — a case writer at Yale's School of Management who has also taught taught writing at Yale and directed a think tank at Harvard — is the creator and principal of The Writing Code.

In the past three years, Euchner has published a series of books on writing and civil rights. His three books on writing — The Writing Code Series (a 14-part series of ebooks that includes this work), "The One-Minute Writer," and "Write the Book" — offer a complete system for all genres. Now available only on Amazon, these and other works will be available on all book platforms and in pulp form by fall.

Euchner is also the author or editor of ten books. His latest book "Nobody Turn Me Around: A People’s History of the 1963 March on Washington" (Beacon Press, 2010), has been praised as a dramatic reinterpretation of the civil rights movement. Kirkus Reviews, in a starred review, called it “dynamic ... sharp, riveting.” Juan Williams, author of Eyes on the Prize, called it “compelling and dramatic.”

Euchner’s other books include a trilogy on the state of sports in modern America ("Playing the Field," "The Last Nine Innings," and "Little League, Big Dreams"), grassroots politics ("Urban Policy Reconsidered" and "Extraordinary Politics"), presidential politics ("Selecting the President" and "The President and the Public"), and regional politics (the two-part "Governing Greater Boston" project).

AuthorCharles Euchner
BindingKindle Edition
FormatKindle eBook
Language TypePublished
Number Of Pages74
Product GroupeBooks
Publication Date2012-09-12
PublisherShaking Barrel Press
Release Date2012-09-12
StudioShaking Barrel Press
Sales Rank5952

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