A powerful agent is the right word: it lights the reader's way and makes it plain; a close approximation to it will answer, and much traveling is done in a well-enough fashion by its help, but we do not welcome it and applaud it and rejoice in it as we do when the right one blazes out on us. Whenever we come upon one of those intensely right words in a book or a newspaper the resulting effect is physical as well as spiritual, and electrically prompt: it tingles exquisitely around through the walls of the mouth and tastes as tart and crisp and good as the autumn-butter that creams the sumac-berry.
- "William Dean Howells"


The difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a large matter--it's the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.
- Letter to George Bainton, 10/15/1888


One of our major goals in 10th and 11th grade is to encourage students to begin to use more advanced vocabulary in their speech and writing. We refer to this as the difference between "baby words" and "college words". During the year students will keep a list in the writing section of their notebook of "baby words" that they are no longer allowed to use in their writing. They will also compose a list of "college words" that they will begin to use in place of the "baby words"
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