Word Wednesday: Diction Holy Grail

Today I discovered the Holy Grail for Diction assessment. (Diction, you remember, is word choice.)

The Pro Writing Aid finds common diction faux pas such as:

  • Overused words
  • Sentences that are all the same length
  • “Sticky Sentences”—I’d never heard that title before, but it’s a way of determining wordiness, specifically when sentences use too many short, common words. I love it.
  • Clichés and Redundancies
  • Repeated words and phrases
  • Deadwood and Jargon (they call it simply “Diction”)
  • Vague or Abstract words
  • Complex words
  • Alliteration
  • Poor Pacing
  • Dialogue tags


Just for fun, I analyzed the blog that will be posted on Friday. Blogs are more conversational, so they will include more clichés, and a blog about plotting is going to repeat a lot of words (like Confrontation, Elation, Collapse, and Gloom—the subjects I’ll be covering on Friday). Still, this little program is SUPER DUPER NIFTY.

And it’s free.

Try it out here with some of your own text, and comment below with your results. What do you need to work on? What do you want more information about? Future blog posts may be devoted to your topic, but I won’t know what you want unless you tell me!

6 thoughts on “Word Wednesday: Diction Holy Grail

  1. S.Z. Williams says:

    This is so cool! Thanks for sharing.
    My biggest issue seems to be complex words, and vague and abstract words.

  2. Lara says:

    You’re welcome! I think next week I’ll talk about syllables and breath units, which would relate to Complex words, but until then, be sure to read my last post about diction…it sounds like you are using lots of Latinate words! 🙂

  3. Timothy Price says:

    Since I tend to be quite vague, abstract and often redundant, living on clichés, throwing about complex words that I only have a vague and abstract sense of what they mean, often gluing them together in sticky sentences with lots of jargon, this program sounds like pure hell!

    Actually, is pretty good. It thought the above sentence was too long, that “clichés” is spelled wrong (hmmm), and it found the use of “quite”, “about” and “like” to be vague and abstract.

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