I was just writing on my proudofeverywrinkle blog (at wordpress.com) and used the word “clamor” for a group of dogs who would run to meet me . . . I wasn’t sure that word was correct, so I checked its definition. No, clamor is more of a noise. While I expect a group of dogs would make a clamor, it wasn’t the clamor that might knock me down.
I went to the obvious word “group”, but that was too mundane, too ordinary . . . I tried hoarde and a hoarde is first defined as a verb, but later I saw it can also be used as a noun to express a stash of something valuable that you keep hidden. . .
That still wasn’t exactly the word I sought, although I used it and started to hit the “publish” button . . .
It suddenly occurred to me that I could put the words in google, instead of the word I thought might do and that would give me the word I was looking for . . . so,
a large group of dogs is called “a pack”.
I changed the word hoarde to pack and it read so much better.
Isn’t it funny how one word in a piece of writing can bother you until you get it exactly right?
I proofread (I put myself through college proofreading . . . or the pay from it certainly helped) everything. When a word I’ve written “jars me”, I assume it will jar anyone else who is reading it.
So I’ll take that word and work on it until I’m satisfied that it’s exactly what I mean.
That doesn’t mean I haven’t used the wrong word at the wrong time, but I try to get them right.
That’s part of being a writer . . . not just writing, but going back over what you’ve written and making sure every word is exactly what you meant to say.