Lately, I’ve been especially cognizant of the words I use, both in speaking and writing. We’ve had a few conversations around the Catalyst office about not using the same words all the time. One person used to say “crazy” a lot, and when it was brought to her attention, she began intentionally using other descriptors for hectic, exciting, confusing, and bizzare situations.

My unnatural affinity for grammar led me to this podcast, and a recent episode focused on overusing “so” and “very.” How often do you say that you’re “very happy” when there are words like delighted, thrilled, ecstatic, and elated at your disposal? How often do you describe things as “awesome”? Start trying to exhibit some variety in your descriptors – remarkable, tremendous, splendid, breathtaking, and magnificent are all terrific adjectives that will make your writing (and your speech) much more engaging.

Reading can strengthen your bank of word options. I find that my word choice is significantly more precise after I read a Bill Bryson book because his choice of phrasing is perfect every time. Also, don’t be afraid to use a thesaurus in your writing. As long as every word you write doesn’t have four syllables, no one will notice. This one is only $4.50.