When an editor asks you for a more sophisticated tone, simply using more ten- and fifteen-cents words instead of perfectly good five-cent words will not achieve this for you. “Utilise” instead of “use,” “perceive” instead of “see,” and “ponder” instead of “think about” merely clutters up the prose for the reader. Get to the point. A thesaurus is a useful tool for a writer at times, yes; however, your reader shouldn’t have to use one to get through your book. Sophistication arises from how you approach the subject, not the words you use to discuss it.
We had two people over last night for dinner.
We had to call Skippy and borrow chairs for the dining room table, because we only have two.
Hmm. Evidently we don’t do sit-down dinners for our guests very often, or we’d have noticed this lack sometime over the past thirteen months.
Note to self: Invest in two more chairs for the dining room table to avoid looking like a dork in the future.
Hail, powers of DayQuil, conqueror of sinus infections, cold, and flu.
I invoke the powers of Pseudoephedrine Hydrochloride, Dextromethorphan Hydrobromide, and blessed Acetaminophen.
With your might I banish infection and congestion, muscle ache and sore throat.
I invite the ability to breathe clearly and to edit a whole page of this manuscript without coughing so hard that I see spots.
For the good of all (and I really mean it), and with harm to none (because I wouldn’t wish yet another cold on anyone this spring),
So mote it be.
(Yeah, this wretched cold is courtesy of my husband, who feels appropriately guilty. Nothing’s stopping me from seeing the advance screening of Hellboy tonight, though — nothing, I tell you!)