31 Working with Words: End-of-Chapter Exercises

Rewrite the following personal essay by replacing the slang, clichés, and overly general language with stronger, more precise language.

My biggest regret happened in high school. I had always felt like a fish out of water, so during my sophomore year I was determined to fit in with the cool people. Man, was that an uphill battle. I don’t even know why I tried, but hindsight is 20/20 I guess. The first thing I did was change the way I dressed. I went from wearing clothes I was comfortable in to wearing stuff that was so not me. Then I started wearing a ton of makeup, and my brother was all like, “What happened to your face?” Not only did my looks change, my personality changed a lot too. I started to act all stuck up and bossy with my friends, and they didn’t know how to respond to this person that used to be me. Luckily, this phase didn’t last more than a couple of months. I decided it was more fun to be me than to try to be someone else. I guess you can’t fit a square peg in a round hole after all.

Write the correct synonym for each word.

lenient (relaxed, callous)

abandon (vacate, deceive)

berate (criticize, encourage)

experienced (callow, matured)

spiteful (malevolent, mellow)

tame (subdued, wild)

tasty (savory, bland)

banal (common, interesting)

contradict (deny, revolt)

vain (boastful, simple)

 

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College ESL Writers: Mohawk College Edition by Barbara Hall and Elizabeth Wallace is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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