By David Airey

Isabella Rhodes’ letter to Joanna Nadin

Children’s author Joanna Nadin received this letter from one of her readers.

Here’s Joanna’s reply.

Joanna Nadin’s reply to Isabella Rhodes

Lovely.

Joanna regularly talks to pupils in primary schools, and it was on the TES website where she mentioned a thing the schools have — “wow words.”

“Instead of saying something’s ‘big’, you say it’s ‘gargantuan’. Instead of saying something’s ‘good’, you say it’s ‘magnificent’.

“Obviously, there are times when this is appropriate.

[But] there are times when it makes your writing read like it’s been fed through a thesaurus machine.

“I spend all my time taking wow words out of students’ writing, because they’re ugly most of the time. It’s a focus on the rules, rather than on the story.”

And on that note, here’s a relevant piece by writer Anne Rooney on the enforcement of wow words — a topic in The Guardian last year.

Writing this post reminded me of Ken Robinson’s brilliant TED talk from 2006 that asked, Do schools kill creativity? Well worth (re)watching.

Via @inkcopywriters.

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