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Tag: synonyms

Say “says”

One of the imperatives of good writing that’s drilled into beginner’s heads is not to repeat the same word or phrase too often. If a sentence has the word “ability” in it, the next sentence shouldn’t use the same word. I agree that this is generally good practice. But I make a big exception for all forms of the word “says” — especially in the case of broadcast writing. It’s tempting to cook up a bunch of synonyms to avoid saying “said” over and over again: “He laughed,” “He announced,” “He revealed,” “He exclaimed,” “He chuckled,” “He sighed,” “He intoned,” and so on and on....

Study, study, study

Intern Mallory just asked me, “What’s another word for ‘study’? I just used it three times in three sentences.” How about ‘report’ or ‘analysis’? ‘Survey’ sometimes works, too, if that’s mainly what it was.