Words and phrases: Principles of choice

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"Variety is the life of style."  (Source: Little Dot)
Principles of choice

We continually make choices about the words that we use and the ways that we put them together. 

Good writers
1. use words adapted to their themes and audiences,
2. provide their readers with a variety of vocabulary and form, and 
3. practice, practice, practice to improve their writing skills.
For rhetorical purposes, the choice between this and that kind of word, sentence, or paragraph is not a choice between correct and incorrect, but between better and worse
To secure attention, a writer must choose the kind of word or phrase that is adapted both to his ideas and to his probable readers.
Adaptation is the fundamental principle of all good writing.
Another principle, the principle of Variety, is embodied in the advice often given by teachers to pupils in composition,— "Vary the expression." 
The best form of speech, if used too often, becomes monotonous; and monotony gradually dulls attention and in course of time kills interest. The most brilliant style ceases to please when the brilliancy becomes a glare: to a good piece of writing, as to a good picture, shade is as important as light. 
Variety is the life of style. In good writing, then, the choice of words is determined by the principle of variety working in harmony with the principle of adaptation. 
Literary language unrelieved by a colloquial expression soon becomes tiresome. Pages of long words tire the attention in one way, pages of short words in another. A general remark is more clearly understood and more surely remembered if it is followed by specific instances that present the general idea in a portable form; specific remarks make a deeper impression if a general remark prepares the way for them or sums them up
A style that is never enlivened by a figure of speech is usually tedious; a style that is all figures is bewildering.
To write a single sentence in which the best words shall be in the best places is no slight task; to write a single paragraph that shall be good at all points is far from easy; to write a succession of paragraphs that shall fulfill all the conditions of excellence is what few students of the art of composition can expect to accomplish. 
It is only by constant practice under intelligent and stimulating criticism, and by familiarity with English literature at its best, that success can be achieved.

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