P is for Precision

Dear 8B,

Some words are vague, broad and general. We use them when we speak, because they are easy to pluck from our memories and cast out into everyday conversation. After all, when you are speaking, speed is essential. Your listeners would prefer not to wait while you consult your inner thesaurus.

Here are some words that fit into this category: awesome, wonderful, amazing, terrific, fantastic, great. All of these words are useful fillers during brief interactions with acquaintances or hasty conversations about the weekend.

Read about David McCullough here

When you are writing, however, you should aim to choose your wording more carefully. This doesn’t mean that everything you write must be poetic, flowery or elaborate. Nevertheless, at least some of your sentences should captivate your readers, penetrate their consciousness, pierce their indifference or touch their souls.

My friend, Mrs McQueen, once told me that every quilt she makes must have a colour that “pops” – a colour that is eye-catching, distinctive or especially vivid. Any piece of writing should likewise include some precise, original and striking words. Some of your words should also “pop”!

When you are writing your “J is for Journey” piece, therefore, try to include some words that you have agonised over, not just settled on at the last minute for want of something better. For instance, if you are describing a person who has influenced you or to whom you are deeply grateful, such as your mother or your father, avoid vague statements like this:

My mother is a great person. I like her a lot.

Write something instead that brings the individual qualities of your mother to life. Refer, for instance, to her actions, to her warmth, humour, kindness and unending toil on your behalf. Write something more like this:

My mother has always taught me the love of living things. Whenever she encounters a lonely child, a sick animal or even a wilting plant, she does her utmost to care for each one. While she is kind-hearted and gentle, she is also spirited and fiercely protective. As the central figure in my life story, she seems to know intuitively how to help me when I’m low, how to guide me when I’m lost and how to counsel me when I confide in her.

That was my mother.

Kind regards,

Ms Green

Essential Task

Choose your most memorable slide or page so far, the one with the most powerful, effective or moving words, and show it to me. Then add it as a comment to this post.

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11 thoughts on “P is for Precision

  1. F is for Family

    Family is everything to me. It is my life, it’s my universe – we all connect together. Recently in 2016 my Oma (Grandmother) was diagnosed with asbestos. The day she passed away, everyone was there for each other like a bunch of lions looking after each other. I have 3 sisters and 2 brothers who care for and look after me, but I’m the youngest. I’m an uncle to 5, 3 girls and 2 boys. I have 9 cousins who take care of me and 4 aunties and 4 uncles. For Christmas Eve we celebrate it more than others do and we have an order when to do things. I love it.

  2. My deepest passion of all time is clothes: beautiful creations that flow, sway and hang as you walk. Fashion excites me, for it is an ever-changing industry, different from week to week. Fashion shows are colours, textures, lights, hair + makeup, dramatic music and strobe lights; there is so much electricity in the air that it’s magical. It makes my heart beat out of my chest, widens my smile and puts my head into a wild inspired frenzy.

  3. G-Rebel
    At times I do whatever I want whenever I want to, completely disregarding tasks and responsibility and breaking both the rules of fashion and the unspoken rules of life. For example, I chose to write about “rebellious” in the G slide of my presentation.

    I think being rebellious is not smoking or drinking till you drop, but rather having strong opinions and standing up for your beliefs. People then call you rebellious because you don’t sway or conform to anyone and always stay true to yourself.

  4. I like to consider myself as a quick learner: someone who can learn certain things, not exactly with ease, but without taking too long to get the hang of it. For example, when it comes to maths, I can tend to pick up a topic fairly fast and easily, though if I haven’t done it for a while I tend to need some revision.

  5. B is for Books

    Books to me are like a set of keys that can open the door to a whole new universe full of characters with their own unique personalities. Full of villains and heroes, books can be hypnotizing.

  6. I always put a lot of effort into my work, at home and at school. If I’m doing school work or finishing something at home I put in hard work and effort to make the work special and A+ quality.

  7. F is for Fledgling
    I am a fledgling, unfolding my wings, unsure if I should embark in flight. The wind pushes me backwards, trying to stall my flight. I step off. My wings catch the breeze and I glide gently. Sometimes the wind gets rough and I tumble and plummet towards the earth. But the ground never comes in contact with me, because everything will always be ok and my wings will always catch me.

  8. Apart from sport and art, mathematics is my favourite subject. From seeing an equation that is completely foreign to the eyes, to the challenging yet compelling stage of solving the problem and finally completely understanding it, is the most desirable feeling ever.

  9. G is for coastal getaways
    The beach is a very tranquil place for me. The stillness and calmness of the ocean and the warmth of the sand between my toes make me feel at peace. The sound of the joy and laughter at the beach fills my mind with unforgettable memories. Whenever I look back on my memories at the beach or on a coastal getaway, I think of cheerful, glowing moments that that never fail to make me smile.

  10. L is for Laughter
    Laughter is everywhere, from the cackling kookaburras to the cheeky chimpanzees. All people have their own unique laugh and nobody can replicate yours exactly. It can be a loud genuine laugh like my mum’s or a light tittering laugh like my friend’s. Laughter is all around me, either coming from my friend’s mouth or out of my own. It can be because one of my friends said or did something funny or unexpected. Laughter is something that makes me feel joyous and always lightens my day.

  11. Friends:
    To me, friends are a vital component in every person’s life. Luckily for me I have an uncountable number of friends who are loyal and supportive. Friends are the people who have your back through thick and thin, encouraging you to be the best person possible. No words could explain how grateful I am for the irreplaceable friends in my life. I would sacrifice almost anything for them and the moments we’ve had.

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