Children’s author Joanna Nadin received this letter from one of her readers.
Here’s Joanna’s reply.
Joanna regularly talks to pupils in primary schools. She found out they have this thing called “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. And 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.