Excerpt from Knowing and Using Words
Language is the clothing of one's thought. If it is spoken, the quality of the voice, the purity of the vowels, the distinctness of the consonants, all combine to indicate the social and intellectual rank of the speaker. That accuracy whic... h is perfectly easy and natural is an invaluable passport in business and society. Inaccuracy, slovenliness, or studied preci sion is infallible evidence of lack of culture.
If language is written, it is, as it were, an exhibition of thought on dress parade. The sentences must be easy to understand their connection and sequence must be natural and clear; their groupings into paragraphs must be logical and helpful in conveying the whole thought. A misspelled word is a dirty fingermark on the mental linen.
In both spoken and written expression the choice of the right word is imperative. The nice distinctions that lend subtle charm can come only from acquaint ance with the derivation and connotation of the words themselves and with their infinite variety of relation ships in idiomatic literary usage.
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