Deciphering Word Choice

Sometimes, word choice or the correct use of words is a hard concept for a non-native speaker. And there are situations where you simply can’t find a similar example on the internet so you search for hours and still misuse a word.

Now, obviously there are online dictionaries with great examples such as oxford dictionary, but still, it is sometimes not what you need.

I intended this thread to be a database and a last resort for people to ask other users if a word choice is correct or not.

I wish people using this thread to be aware this is a place where you should ask if you can’t find your answer elsewhere and not constantly ask rather something looks cool or if there would be a better looking word.

I will make the first post as to set an example of what I have in mind for this thread.


When I was writing this sentence:
“Voices surrounding the room start to mingle and your vision suffers.”

I first wrote:
“Voices surrounding the room start to tangle and your vision suffers.”

Now, looking at the meanings of them, they both can be perceived as “mixing of something”. But in English, according to that “ something ”, word usage might change.

So, if I’m using that “tangle” and not “mingle” , this could be an issue that I was not able to find on the internet and came here asking.

These kind of questions, is what I am talking about.

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“Tangle” is more likely to be a physical meshing; “mingle” works better for sounds. “Tangle” is an annoying connection of things. You don’t want things to be tangled. “Mingle” is a blend which has, I think, an at least mildly positive connotation, like spices mingling in a dish.

But “mingle” also means a social gathering and has a sort of casual feeling. I wonder whether “merge” or “blend together” or something like that would work even better.


Reading that sentence specifically, I actually think “tangle” was quite evocative. Per your edit,

It feels like by using the word “tangle”, it brings forward that the voices meshing together is negative for the main character in a way that something like “merge” or “blend” doesn’t. It implies the urge to untangle, which makes the voices feel more pressing and distracting.

Admittedly, I don’t know what the context of that sentence is, so it’s possible that isn’t what the author is going for. But I quite liked it in isolation


This is exactly what I am going for, and I really like the idea. Although, as Gower stated, I still think it wouldn’t be correct to use “tangle” for sounds.

I might just go for mingle or blend together. Might also consider tangle later because of what you said. Thanks to you both.

Context If You Are Curious

You are in a room with people you saw die.

"Please, help me find it." he starts begging as he grabs your hand.

You start to panic and then fall down. Voices surrounding the room start to mingle(now it's tangle) and your vision suffers. People's faces start to get blurry and you can't pick who is who anymore. Then with a cracking sound, the floor crumbles and you start falling into the darkness…

It’s correct if it’s interesting and what you were going for. Go for evocative and precise.


Unsolicited criticism, so feel free to ignore it, but I feel it’s a bit awkward to have so many things start to happen, rather than just happening. You might want to reconsider your word choice there.


Welp, there you go my millionth rewrite of WiP.

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