chapter  12
Using or Abusing Words
ByLarry S. Miller, John T. Whitehead
Pages 26

Vocabulary plays a big part on civil service and intelligence tests because a good vocabulary is considered an indicator of intelligence. Using words to impress rather than to express is childish; however, having a large vocabulary and being sensitive to shades of meaning and different uses in different situations are important. If criminal justice professionals misinterpret the words, they misinterpret the person's thoughts. Use specific, everyday language as often as criminal justice professionals can, taking care to avoid prejudice, euphemisms, and stereotypes. Slang, dialects, and street language change faster than formal English and are worthy of close scrutiny. A number of slang languages have been developed, including those of street gangs or other groups. Many people use words or phrases in their reports that are really drawing conclusions or making assumptions. The meaning is the most important thing about a word, but develop an ear for the sound of words as well.