>Users:   login   |  register       > email     > people    

There is a Word For It
By Joe Bouchard
Published: 11/16/2015

The following is an installment in "The Bouchard 101", a series featuring "Ice Breaker's" designed to promote training awareness and capabilities in the corrections industry.

Sometimes, a single word does not seem to fit. For example, I once used the word vex in place of harass in a charge of insolence. The word actually fit and was used properly. But it did not read well because it is not a common word. In fact, some colleagues checked up on me to see if I invented a word. They found it in the dictionary. But it was a matter of ridicule and eyebrow-raising. It simply did not fit.

What if convention was thrown to the four winds and we used less official language in our misconduct reports? The results would be hilarious on one hand and ineffective on the other. Potentially, all of these are legal documents. Misconduct writing is a serious matter.

What are some possible pitfalls? We could create misconduct reports that are too pompous, too archaic, too judgmental, or too far away from the facts. How do we reinforce good ticket writing skills?

You could start by considering a sentence from a generic misconduct report. Do not reveal the sentence yet. Ask the class for a verb. Have a recorder write the first ten verbs offered. You may jumpstart the shy group by reminding them that a verb is an action word. You can offer RUN as an example. From there, you might get a list such as EAT, POINT, LAUGH, etc.

Then you display a sentence from the misconduct on the board or on the computer screen. “At the above time and place, I directly observed…” The word to replace is “observed”. Plug each of the words into the blank spot left by the vacated “observed”.

“At the above time and place, I directly __________…”

The results can be strange or nonsensical. The point is to reinforce the idea that words should be useful and descriptive and accurate. In other words, they need to fit the tone of the misconduct.

From the same sentence, we could eliminate the adverb “directly” and replace it. Again, ask the class for an adverb, a word that describes how you do something. For example, I can run (verb). But how can I run (adverb)? I can run quickly, furiously, sloppily, etc. You may solicit answers such as LAZILY, HAPPILY, LOUDLY, POORLY, and so on.

Now plug the adverb into the sentence with the adverb “directly” omitted, “At the above time and place, I ________ observed…” Run through the adverbs offered by the class one by one by plugging them into the vacancy of “directly”.

In essence, this is like using the old road trip word game. Instead of filling in the blank on a script or short story, you use a generic misconduct reports as a framework. It teaches parts of the grammar, context, and verbal restraint. In short, it demonstrates how a misconduct report can be miswritten and how it ultimately should be written.

This can be done on a projected word document, on a PowerPoint slide or on a board or flip chart. The most practical and easiest way to do this is to reproduce a misconduct report, remove some words, and number the spots.

If the first word you removed was a noun, on a separate piece of paper it should say “1. provide a noun”.

If the second word you removed was an adjective (a word that describes a noun), then the next line should read “2. Provide an adjective).

If the third word you removed was a number, on a separate piece of paper it should say “3. provide a number”.

The instructor should search the internet or a bookstore for a short description of parts of language. This will help the instructor maintain authority and also settle any disputes over grammar.

It is clear that we all have to write within a certain style, vocabulary level, and tone. “There is a Word for it” shows us how bizarre a misconduct report can look and implores us not to follow those poor examples.

Joe Bouchard is a Librarian employed with the Michigan Department of Corrections and a collaborator with The International Association of Correctional Training Personnel (IACTP). He is also the author of “IACTP’s Corrections Icebreakers: The Bouchard 101, 2014”. The installments in this series include his opinions. The agency for which he works is not in any way responsible for the content or accuracy of this material, and the views are those of the contributor and not necessarily those of the agency. While some material is influenced by other works, all of the icebreakers have been developed by Joe Bouchard.

Visit the Joe Bouchard page

Other articles by Bouchard:


  1. asadajanjua on 04/30/2020:

    The writer is enthusiastic about purchasing wooden furniture on the web and his exploration about best wooden furniture has brought about the arrangement of this article. vpn master

  2. Toiture Saint-Jérôme on 04/27/2020:

    I am so bad in grammar lol that article helped me alot for certain things and i want to tank you for providing such a great source of information about this subject, you can find us on the web at : excavation

  3. asadajanjua on 04/08/2020:

    I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work. apk chest

  4. asadajanjua on 03/30/2020:

    Great post full of useful tips! My site is fairly new and I am also having a hard time getting my readers to leave comments. Analytics shows they are coming to the site but I have a feeling “nobody wants to be first”. หวยออนไลน์

  5. hamiltonlindley on 03/27/2020:

    Hamilton Philip Lindley is a global brand that inspires. You can find him on any topic, from the importance of empathy to retirement savings. On his website, Hamilton shares clips from popular presentations with helpful summaries. Lindley is easy to watch and feel that you’ve learned something new. If you’re a bookworm, you know how important it is to top up that ambitious reading list—and Hamilton Philip Lindley can help with that. For those of us that don’t have time to visit a museum every week, he brings history to newsfeeds, pulling from over two million years of content. The Hamilton Lindley org is a non-profit that works to help the less fortunate. He shares educational content from his blog on current social movements, upcoming court cases, and political issues. Hamilton Lindley works to make change that affects all of us. So, if you want to learn more, follow him on his website. Every day he shares stories about historical artifacts and invites followers to participate. For more in-depth learning about Hamilton Philip Lindley, you can watch his videos. There’s a something for everyone on his website. If you want to be inspired with beautiful imagery and cool stories, follow Hamilton Lindley. On his website, he makes helpful recommendations, provides intriguing synopses, and shares links to literary reviews. Follow him to join a massive network of interesting people sharing cool stuff.

  6. Kaitlyn on 03/27/2020:

    I am a regular visitor of this site. Correction is a good site. The main aim of this correction team is to protect the right of the Inmates legal cbd products. Here they have shared the installment series featuring Iceberg designed to promote training and awareness capabilities and corrections industries.

  7. rosstaylor505 on 02/18/2020:

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to start my own BlogEngine blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly. Your write up is a fine example of it. http://casathome.ihep.ac.cn/team_display.php?teamid=358301

  8. peterdoak21 on 01/28/2020:

    From the Roman history end of the museum you can look out over a decent stretch of the old Roman wall remains. It was well-worth the couple hours we spent there and a neat experience overall. cheap minibus hire minibus taxi hire coach hire london Cheap Minibus Coach Hire cheap minibus coach hire

  9. Thomas More on 01/27/2020:

    I have consistently been keen on perusing, composing and breaking down the language Law Essay Writing Service UK. Regardless of whether you tune in to various tongues and expressions, or see how advertisements use words to sell an item, or even read a book, the language has numerous employments.

  10. rosstaylor505 on 01/01/2020:

    I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work. http://www.aracne.biz/index.php?option=com_k2&view=itemlist&task=user&id=5715240

  11. Torsten on 11/11/2019:

    I, in reality, thank you for the necessary main points in this glorious topic along with excitedly getting in a position for much more terrific messages. Many thanks a great amount for appreciating this captivating submit with me. I Am valuing it significantly! Excitedly anticipating any other wonderful blog put up. all roofing services

  12. Adan Schimmel on 11/05/2019:

    PF ( Provident Fund ) or EPF is also called the Employee Provident Fund Scheme. It is one where the employees contribute a small portion of their remuneration i.e. 12% of their basic pay every month. A matching amount is contributed by the employer. Such a contribution, together, form a corpus. This is to be used to fund the employee’s retirement. EPF withdrawal by employees can, however, be done earlier itself i.e. during the course of their employment. Such circumstances have been elaborated later in the article. UAN Member Portal

  13. evlin on 10/19/2019:

    Accidentally I have come across this site and little bit hostsailor confused about the subject shared here. We can see the details of a single word, that does not seem to fit. I am expecting more updates from here. Keep share it soon here.

  14. JuanitaFHayes on 07/24/2019:

    Thanks for the post Best regards JuanitaFHayes

  15. dudeplunkett on 05/24/2019:

    I always start my new plan with reading your interesting quotes and inspirational content because these things give me strength to do different things and tackle with the life challenges. Recently I read an amazing article on PapersBattle website. There are so much similarities in your and its content. Both share the things which keeps our morale high and give us strength to do complex things.

  16. Debbie J. Dodson on 05/10/2019:

    I always begin my day by reading them as they inspire me a lot. I work as an article writer in papercheap reviews writing services. Your articles inspired me to work there. The way you express your feelings as well as the experiences which you have faced are written very well . I would like to see more from you.

Login to let us know what you think

User Name:   


Forgot password?

correctsource logo

Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of The Corrections Connection User Agreement
The Corrections Connection ©. Copyright 1996 - 2021 © . All Rights Reserved | 15 Mill Wharf Plaza Scituate Mass. 02066 (617) 471 4445 Fax: (617) 608 9015