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Coloring Language with Crayon Words

· 2 min read
Adam Kecskes

Dry. Dull. Bland. Banal.

Sometimes our use of language is so uninspired that it leaves the taste of chalk in a listener's ears. They close their eyes in order to retain precious moisture and they fidget in their seats as if sitting on a plump desert cactus.

Sometimes we don't even try. Count how many "really, really's" and you'll hear what I mean. What can we do to brighten our language?

Color your words! Language is a moldable art form. There are thousands upon thousands of ways to delight and tingle the listeners' ears. Listen to yourself as you speak. What do you hear? Are you, yourself, inspired, intrigued, or moved? If not, then consider picking up a box of word crayons and color outside your normal lines.

Make use of metaphors and similes as if you were the author of a nano-story. Advance yourself with the ample of use of alternative adjectives — and the apt alliteration from time to time. You don't need to use "really, really" and "very, very" all the time, after all. You have a gargantuan library of word choices; far more than just those few (only two!) If you're prone to thinking outside the box while speaking on the fly, add a parenthetical (but not too often, lest you throw your audience off track). Try out a chiasmus once in a while; few figures of speech trigger a tingle in the ears as much as a lofty, "Crayons are used by creatives ardently, and it is ardent creatives who use crayons."

Start each speech with a clean, dry, canvas. Collect your thoughts, open a thesaurus, draw some lines, then color in the shapes you've created. Your audience's ear will appreciate it with a fervor.