USF Writing Studio

Archive for May, 2012


Trying to Avoid Colloquial Language and Slang

Friday, May 18th, 2012 | Posted in USF Writing Studio Blog: Tips, News, and Updates by dmfarrar | 2 Comments »

“Like, you know, that guy over there told me to say hi.”

“Guys and girls! Everyone look here!”

“I have to take my kid sister to school, then we can hang out.

Slang is everywhere.  When we use it in everyday life to communicate with friends informally, it’s usually fine. In fact, sounding too formal around our friends is kinda weird.  Slang, or colloquial language – to use the formal term – is not appropriate in academic writing and many professional communication situations. (more…)



Thursday, May 17th, 2012 | Posted in USF Writing Studio Blog: Tips, News, and Updates by dmfarrar | 1 Comment »

Remember learning all those long, complicated words for the SAT? While it’s good to know what these words mean and how they can be used, using them in our own writing isn’t always a good plan. Sometimes brevity is the best way to express an idea.

But why should we bother when we took all that time to learn those long words?

Unnecessary words can make us sound like we lack confidence in our writing. Redundant words, for example, give the same idea twice. Here are some examples: Twelve noon (noon is always at twelve); Summarize briefly (summaries are brief by nature); Exactly the same (the same is the same, right?).

Use your words carefully and purposefully. There’s a reason the cliché “short and sweet” has stuck around for so long!

Here’s a great video on using simple words to express big ideas:  “The Power of Simple Words”

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