What you mean, not what you say

Our discussion about words that both conceal and reveal meaning I felt really was applicable to the language our generation uses. Basic, nice, cute, bro, each one holding significance when spoken to one another, yet interpreted to mean something completely different when said to an adult or parent.


When it comes to words that serve a similar purpose when it comes to writing or writing about writing, I find myself coming up with phrases that sometimes just beat around the bush or do actually say something, but end up being difficult to describe.


“I liked it”: This tends to come up when I don’t really have much to say about a piece, at least from the positive end. It is generally followed by a “but” or a trail off due to the inability to come up with some form of substantial praise or critique. Along similar lines, there are “good idea”, “interesting”, and “It has potential”. Each vague statement creates a sugar coating that will be canceled out by the next criticism.


“strong voice”: This seems to be used quite a bit, yet what isn’t a strong voice? If a piece has a monotone feel, then that is the strong voice. Maybe a unique or identifiable voice, followed by an explanation of what the reader feels might say more about the writing.


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