Precision and effectiveness in writing depend on the careful use of language. You must learn to recognise the words and phrases that will convey your meaning exactly and vividly to the reader. And you must reject any word or phrase that is flabby and worn out.

The development of word power comes only with practice. Besides a sensitivity to language it demands an inquiring mind and a careful attitude. You must avoid careless mistakes and also be concerned about quality, taking professional pride in your skill as a writer.

This attitude cannot be taught, only caught. But it is worth pointing out common pitfalls.

Here are some examples of badly chosen words from Sunday newspaper football coverage:

…Obertan charged down the ...

Get English for Journalists, 4th Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.