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You Know What’s Depressing?

Posted on by arlen

A recent issue of The Writer contains an aricle by Brian Sousa about reading your writing aloud in order to find mistakes (an admirable practice, I might add, especially for checking dialog). I stopped reading when I came to:

Perhaps they were noticieable only to me, but there were sentences, even whole paragraphs, that when verbalized compelled me to rewrite.

The word “verbalized” means “put into words.” It’s impossible for sentences and paragraphs to exist without having first been put into words. And it wasn’t the process of putting them into words that caused the errors to become obvious. It was the process of speaking them aloud, something “verbalize” doesn’t necessitate.

Of course, I knew what he meant. What he meant was “vocalized,” not “verbalized.” But I ask you, what is more depressing than an magazine devoted to writing that cannot be bothered to use the right word?

One Response to You Know What’s Depressing?

  1. Reminds me of the Steve Martin joke: “Some people have a way with words and some people have no way.” 😉 People who “have no way” shouldn’t presume to write how-to articles–or edit a how-to magazine for writers.

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October 2006
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