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Brainstorming vs. Barnstorming: Choosing the Right Word

June 12, 2017 Editing Writing 0

Tricky business that editing. Okay, that’s not a real sentence. But, here on the big ‘ol double U, double U, double U, a person needs to know when to stop.

One editing tip that I have found helpful is to understand word meaning. If you’re not certain, consult a dictionary, and ask around. Words are an arbitrary assignation of sounds to indicate specific objects, actions and descriptions but by using them in specific ways and in context, they take on meaning. Ensure that the one you have chosen has the intended meaning. As a writer, your word choice determines how a reader interprets a piece of dialogue or text.

Let’s face it. There’s a boatload of difference between the definition of brainstorming and that of barnstorming. One describes the gathering of ideas: sublime, mediocre, practical and far-fetched in an effort to formulate a plan while the other sends its actors to rural outposts to perform lively theater or displays of acrobatics akin to The Flying Wallendas.

Often, a word, similar-looking to the one an author intends is not the word used. This creates cognitive dissonance or outright misunderstanding.The ability to edit well comes down to understanding its context and determining whether a given word fits.

It pays to have a sense of humor.

It’s all about whether a cow fits in the brain. Consider the complexity of our barns and how we think. It bears repeating; tricky business that editing.