Action in Sentences
Chapter 13, [Confusing Words Clarified,] explains the different meanings and usages of words that are often confused, such as assure, ensure, and insure and lay and lie. Specific Words deals with the selection of the exact word or phrase that best expresses your intended meaning.
When writing, why not use the exact word you want rather than dashing off the first close-enough word that comes to mind? Most likely because there are too many words meaning the same or nearly the same as the exact word. Suppose you write the word fix, to be used as a verb. Fix has many meanings including repair, as in, [I am going to fix my bicycle,] and locate, as in, [Will they get a fix the old oak tree?]
Here is a list of words with nearly the same meaning as fix. Which one is the exact word for your purpose?
Locate—To determine or indicate the place
Establish—To institute permanently
Direct—To manage the affairs
Circumscribe—To trace a line around
Quantify—To indicate the extent
Form—To give shape to
Perforate—To make a hole or holes through
Kill—To cause the death of
Resolve—To break into separate parts