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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Ruled by Intellect or Emotion? Tips on Word Choice #7

English: The words "Motivation and Emotio...
English: The words "Motivation and Emotion" are spelt out in scrabble letters on a scrabble board. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Certain words/phrases can induce fairly specific responses in readers. As writers, we all know this, but do we use the power of emotion in our work?

For the next few weeks, I’ll be looking at something subjective: how to choose between emotional and intellectual words for effect.

In this series I’m looking at the difference between words that seem intellectual as opposed to those that invoke a more emotional response. How you use them is obviously up to you. The point is that the alternatives have the same, or very similar, meanings, but their effect upon the reader can be markedly different. I’ve made some suggestions here, but I’m sure you can think of others.

Intellectual: Astute
Emotional: Smart

The leader of the opposition made the astute point that the party in power was run by fraudsters, millionaires, tax-dodgers and fools.

Georgina was not only beautiful, generous and smart as a whip, she was also green. 

Intellectual: Desire
Emotional: Hope

Members of the Tory party desire that all employees be made to labour for inadequate wages so that they can continue to call them lazy and undeserving.’

Let’s all hope the majority of the electorate will wake up to the reality of the right wing, in spite of the evidence that the contrary is usually the case.

Intellectual: Obstinate
Emotional: Stubborn

The obstinate belief amongst the bulk of voters that politicians actually care about them is difficult to comprehend.

My grandfather was a stubborn man who would argue that black was white if that was what he chose to believe, regardless of fact.

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