Writing Advice: Use Superlatives

What You Say When You Write a Message: Use a Choice Superlative by Gene Griessman

Whether you are writing a thank-you note, a sympathy note, or a business letter, your use of a well-chosen superlative can set your message apart from the others, make it memorable, perhaps treasured.

But be careful.  Superlatives can sound overly flowery.  You never want to sound false or insincere.

If English is not your first language, be doubly careful when you use superlatives. Nothing gives you away more quickly than the inept use of a superlative.  To insure that you use a superlative correctly, consult a really good dictionary for examples.  Fortunately there are a number of good dictionaries on-line that provide examples of correct usage.

Below is a list of superlatives you can choose from.  Some of my favorites are on this list.

amazing

astonishing

astounding

attractive

awe-inspiring

beautiful

beyond belief

bright

brilliant

colorful

dazzling

excellent

exceptional

extraordinary

fabulous

generous

gleaming

glowing,

good-looking

gorgeous,

handsome

inconceivable

incredible

lively

lovely

luminous

marvelous

miraculous

outstanding

radiant

remarkable

shimmering

shining

sparkling

spectacular

splendid

startling

striking

stunning

surprising

unbelievable

vibrant

vivid

wonderful

Next time you write a note, give the over-used words in your core vocabulary a break. Pick a superlative or two from the above list.  The results may be surprising, wonderful, unbelievable.

Source: “101 Ways To Say Thank You” by Kelly Browne (Sterling: NY and London, 2008 www.sterlingpublishing.com) Whatyousay.com likes this book. It brims with examples and wise advice about thank-you messages.

Don’t leave just yet. Whatyousay.com is full of great advice from very wise individuals. Check out the other great articles. You’re already here. Why rush off? We guarantee you’ll be a better communicator, and more successful if you invest time here.

If you’d like to learn more about Gene Griessman’s books, cds, and dvds.

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