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On Lexical Precision

by Lee Duane FitzSimmons

There are many individuals who advocate the use of brevity in writing. While there are certain occasions when these techniques are appropriate, there are also numerous occasions when more complex lexical tools are required. When a text is trying to explain something as accurately as possible, it is almost always necessary to use the most precise terminology available. The reason for this is usage is simple. Advanced conceptualizations of more complex ideas and their many related speculations often require advanced terminologies that do not allow for ambiguity. Also, it is almost always necessary to define key terms in a very specific manner so that all of the conceptualizations expressed are allowed to develop with far more precision. Advanced lexical tools are also required for aesthetic and psychological purposes as well.

First, the correct formulations of the basic ideas expressed in a written text are often obscured when simple terminology is used to explain more advanced concepts. This situation occurs because simple words often have a wide array of possible meanings. If a simple statement with only a few words is used, then there are often a very large number of possible interpretations to such assertions. Thus, more specificity is required so that the most precise and accurate rendering of the expressions being given by the author can be perceived in a manner that allows for the writer's basic ideas to be cognized in the most effective manner possible.

Still Life with Globe, Lute, and Books by Gerrit Dou (1635)

It is also necessary to remember that the basic key terms used in any type of written presentation can often be defined in a multitude of ways. This phenomenon is one of the most important reasons as to why precise lexical techniques must be used in any type of serious written presentation that wishes to convey important knowledge. Whenever the basic words used in any written presentation are not clearly defined, the evil spectre of ambiguity raises its villainous head, and the chaos of sophistry has more options that it can use if it chooses to do so. Thus, in order to overcome the evil machinations of diabolical sophists and cunning manipulators, it becomes very necessary to explain even the most basic of concepts with words that are precisely defined in such a way that only the correct interpretation is perceived.

It should also be realized that in order to invoke more poetic flavors with one's words, a large assortment of terms should be present on one's artistic palette so that a more aesthetic rendering of one's statement may be presented. Most people are far more receptive to something that is written in elegant colors. Thus, in order to heighten the appeal of one's written presentation, a wide array of lexical choices should be available to the author so that there are more options to use when it becomes necessary to flavor one's prose with beautiful words. Aesthetically crafted prose has a very strong appeal to the reader.

This affect on the perception of a set of written words by the employment of more interesting terminology is also psychological in nature. Thus, in order to place the reader in the most receptive state possible that allows for the correct cognition and understanding of a writer's assertions, the use of the most beautiful and appropriate terms as well as the placement of the most precise phrases becomes far more important. Ambiguity is to be avoided as well as boredom. Thus, in order to place the reader in a heightened state of awareness, the most accurate and aesthetically pleasant words should be used.

Thus, advanced lexical tools are needed for both business and pleasure.

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Copyright 2013 by Lee Fitzsimmons