When I first entered the workforce, I asked an older, wiser friend to review my resume. She chastised me for using the word telephony, laughing at my “made-up word.” Even though I used it correctly and my prospective employers would (likely) understand it, my friend’s mirth and Master’s degree intimidated me, so I removed telephony from my resume.
Recently I learned a word I really want to use: theocrasy. This would fit nicely in a book I’m working on, but I fear readers will misread it or think I made a typo and meant theocracy, which conveys a different idea. (It doesn’t help that both words are pronounced the same.)
My conclusion is that being right doesn’t matter if people misunderstand what you’re saying.
What would you do, use the right word anyway or rework the sentence?
Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!