Provides a list of possible vague or abstract words in your writing.
Study each suggestion for those words or phrases to determine whether or not the suggestion is appropriate in your context.The words or phrases in the Word or Phrase column appear in your writing. The suggestions in the Suggestion column offer possible alternatives which may apply in the context of your writing.
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An abstract noun denotes an intangible, such as a quality or state. A concrete noun denotes the person or thing that may possess that quality or be in that state. For examplë: man is concrete and humanity is abstract, brain is concrete and thought is abstract. Abstract nouns are necessary in their proper places, but should not be used to excess. Using abstract nouns to excess: - Makes statements indirect, and therefore their meaning is more difficult to grasp. The commonest form is to make an abstract noun the subject of a sentence where a concrete noun would be more natural, for example, "was this the realisation of an anticipated liability?" instead of "did you expect you would have to do this?" - Secondly, abstract nouns have less precise meanings than concrete ones, and therefore should be avoided as far as possible by those who wish to make their meaning plain. There is not room for wide variation in the interpretation by different people of such words as house and ship. But there is infinite room for differences of opinion about what is meant by such words as liberty and democracy.
Ironically the very vagueness of abstract words is one of the reasons for their popularity. It is harder to be precise. We are often tempted to prefer the safer obscurity of the abstract.
Be specific or try to edit these words from your writing. Occasionally using one of these words (say one a page) won’t ruin your style. However, the more you use these words, the less readable your writing becomes.