Words are the items of language which most readers focus on immediately because in coming to terms with language words often appear to be the core from which meaning springs. Writers themselves often present their composition as a struggle with words. Words are not, however, quite so easy to deal with as syntax because each word has a particular history and each has to be taken on its own terms. Nevertheless, it is possible to offer some general principles with which to tackle the vocabulary in a piece of literature.
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