Tag: Writing

Tip to improve Vocabulary: Lesson from ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’

Tip to improve Vocabulary: Lesson from ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’

Tip to improve Vocabulary: Lesson from ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’
Tip to improve Vocabulary: Lesson from ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’

By the end of the day on most Fridays, I have this habit of watching a new film, predominantly from Hollywood. The choice of the movie and its genre depends upon my mood, prevailing at that time. I always look for movies possessing seamless narrations. At the same time, I pay special attention to moments, which provide some serious lessons that are essential to life, in the movies. For instance, I would define the 2006 American biographical drama film, ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’ a repository of highly valuable life lessons. Besides the movie rendering illustrations for aspects like determination, killer instinct, upbringing and forbearance, a sequence in the film provides a brief lesson on vocabulary. The sequence features the conversation between the father-son duo, Chris Gardner (the character of a dad, played by Will Smith) and Christopher Jr. (the role of a soon-to-be five-year-old son, enacted by Jaden Smith) during the course of their walk to meet a potential client of the former. Prior to the sequence, Chris Gardner conveys Christopher Jr. that possibly he would take him to the football game after the meetup with the prospect.

The interaction between the two during the walk transpires as follows

Christopher Jr.: Are you bringing it (referring the bone density scanner, which Chris Gardner is carrying) to the game?

Chris Gardner: Yeah, I don’t wanna leave it. And maybe we’re going to the game.

Christopher Jr.: Where are we going now?

Chris Gardner: To see someone about my job.

Christopher Jr.: I don’t understand

Chris Gardner: You don’t understand what?

Christopher Jr.: Are we going to the game?

Chris Gardner: I said possibly we’re going to the game. You know what “possibly” means?

Christopher Jr.: Like probably.

Chris Gardner: No, “probably” means there’s a good chance that we’re going. “Possibly” means we might, we might not. What does “probably” mean?

Christopher Jr.: It means we have a good chance.

Chris Gardner: And what does “possibly” mean?

Christopher Jr.: I know what it means.

Chris Gardner: What does it mean?

Christopher Jr.: It means that we’re not going to the game. 😊

Whenever I come across the usage of the words, “possibly” and “probably”, I just recall the aforementioned conversation and get myself clarified. This brief lesson suggested me a valuable tip on vocabulary. The tip is to note down informative and appealing dialogues like the above mentioned, as and when I notice them.

So, what makes the dialogue appealing? As the convo has been written out in such a way that a father describes about the difference between two words to his soon-to-be five-year-old son, the explanation has been rendered in a simpler form. Also, if something like a thought, idea, or a concept is explained with a relatable example then there is a high probability for individuals, who are able to relate with the instance, to have a lasting remembrance of the concerned topic’s meaning or context.

Hope you found my tip on vocabulary to be useful and practicable. Now, head down to the comments and let me know your ways to improve vocabulary.

Feel free to share a link to your blog post, which is relevant to this article so that I can check it out as well!



Learn these 5 Essential Blogging Tips from ‘behind the scenes’ of Stephen Hawking’s International Bestseller

Learn these 5 Essential Blogging Tips from ‘behind the scenes’ of Stephen Hawking’s International Bestseller

'A Brief History of Time' book's cover
Stephen Hawking’s international bestseller, ‘A Brief History of Time’ (Image Source: The Rare Book Sleuth)

This week, I completed reading the book, ‘My Brief History’ written by Stephen Hawking. I find the memoir to be interesting and identify a lot of takeaways from its chapters. As a blogger too, I am able to relate with some key points about Blogging with the aspects mentioned in a chapter. The chapter is on Stephen Hawking’s international bestseller, ‘A Brief History of Time’.

In this write-up, I am sharing my correlations with you.

1. Purpose of writing a blog post:

Stephen Hawking had two main intentions behind writing ‘A Brief History of Time’. One was to explain on how he felt on the evolution of the understanding by humans about the universe. Other was to explain on how humans might get near in finding a complete theory… a theory describing universe and its aspects.

Next, he was clear-cut for whom he is writing the book for, as he wanted to make the book to reach as many people as possible.

Also, he was particular on the feel that the book has to offer its readers. He had been very impressed by Jacob Bronowski’s TV series, ‘The Ascent of Man’. The series had given him a feeling of achievement in the evolution of human race over years. Likewise, he wanted to convey a feeling on the progress of humans in getting to know the system of the universe. In the book, he felt that he shouldn’t explain unfamiliar concepts that weren’t essential to what he has got to say. All he felt was only to mention them and not discuss them in detail. But, despite certain ideas being difficult, he explained as he considered them essential. He decided to describe his ideas with the help of familiar analogies and a few diagrams. In this way, he hoped that most readers would feel elated on the notable progress in physics in last fifty years from then.

Here, Stephen Hawking’s purpose on writing ‘A Brief History of Time’ looks so convincing. In the same way, before starting to write a blog post, you have to ensure the following which Stephen did for his book

  • Why are you writing the blog post?
  • Who will be its target audience?
  • What information should you be avoiding in it?
  • How should you be providing information in it?
  • What will your audience gain from it?

2. Keep writing as simple as possible:

Stephen Hawking had chosen to have his book published by a publisher named, ‘Bantam Books’. One of their editors, Peter Guzzardi made him to rewrite the book so that it appeals to non-scientists too. Each time he sent Peter a rewritten chapter, Peter sent back objections and questions. Stephen felt that the activity seemed prolonging. But, at the end of the activity, he felt that the book was much better than what he had expected.

In a like manner, try to keep your writing as simple as possible in your blog post for it to reach a large audience.

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3. Prefer brief to short titles:

Stephen Hawking’s original title for the book was ‘From the Big Bang Black Holes: A Short History of Time’. But, it was Guzzardi who changed the title to ‘A Brief History of Time’. Stephen Hawking considered this change as a stroke of genius. He felt that the title change would have contributed to the book’s success. Post which, there seem to be a lot of books like ‘A Brief History of Thyme’, imitating the title.

All these sum up the importance of writing catchy and brief headlines. Bloggers can make use of CoSchedule’s free Headline Analyzer to write such headlines.

4. Review the post before publishing it:

When the book was nearing publication, a scientist who was about to review it found in its advance copy a lot of errors… errors in the labels of the photographs and diagrams. Hence, ‘Bantam Books’ had to recall and scrap the entire printing. Following which, in an intense way, they spent three weeks to correct and recheck the entire book.

This situation summarizes on how crucial is a review before a book’s publication. Lesson learnt from the situation applies before a blog post publish as well.

You can review your content in two ways. First, read aloud the content that you have written to identify the mistakes in it. Second, provide your content to your family members or friends and get a review done.

5. Choose apt Social Media channel to distribute blog posts:

As Stephen Hawking wanted to take the book to a large audience, he opted for ‘Bantam Books’ who could help him in doing so. Also, he was so specific that he would want to create a book that would sell in airport book stores. ‘Bantam Books’ had not specialized on publishing science books till then. But, their books seemed to be available in a wide manner in airport book stores.

This scenario implies the significance of opting apt channel to distribute content. Likewise, it’s essential for bloggers to opt an apt social media channel (E.g. Facebook, Twitter etc.,) to promote blog posts.

Before starting to write your next blog post, think on the above mentioned Stephen Hawking’s efforts… efforts in bringing out his book and making it as an international bestseller. Then, try panning out your blogging efforts in the same way. Stephen Hawking’s efforts and spirit behind, may inspire and be followed in blog posts.