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  • We all know the scene: Dorothy closes her eyes,

  • and repeats the Good Witch's mantra,

  • "No coordinates exist like one's domicile,

  • no coordinates exist like one's domicile,

  • no coordinates exist like one's domicile."

  • Only Dorothy doesn't say that. She says five one-syllable words,

  • "There's no place like home."

  • Each a word you probably learned in your first year of speaking,

  • each perfectly concise.

  • It's not that L. Frank Baum didn't have a thesaurus,

  • it's that in most cases $10 words fail.

  • Would Aerosmith have had a hit with

  • "Ambulate This Direction?"

  • Probably not.

  • Would Patrick Henry have ignited a revolution by saying,

  • "Provide me with liberty or bestow upon me fatality?"

  • Unlikely.

  • When it comes to words, bigger isn't always better.

  • Ten-dollar words are rendered worthless if they're not understood.

  • That's not to say every piece of literature

  • should be written at a fourth-grade reading level,

  • but it is important to know your audience.

  • If you're a novelist, your audience is probably expecting

  • 300 pages of vivid descriptors.

  • At the very least, they're expecting

  • you won't use the same 50 words to fill those pages.

  • But most of us don't have the luxury of a captive audience.

  • We're competing against a whole world of distractions

  • and we're fighting for space in an attention span

  • that continues to shrink across generations.

  • So get to the point already.

  • Variety may be the spice of life, but brevity is its bread and butter.

  • So when it comes to $10 words,

  • save your money and buy a Scrabble board.

We all know the scene: Dorothy closes her eyes,

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B2 TED-Ed exist dorothy expecting captive fourth grade

【TED-Ed】The power of simple words - Terin Izil

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    VoiceTube posted on 2013/03/20
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