Sunday, July 10, 2011

An endless love affair.

        I have to admit it. I have a love affair with words. I get easily enchanted by the way some of them sound, and I enjoy learning their different meanings. Choosing the right words is a pleasure, one of the many goals I try to accomplish whenever I write something. Words are the fascinating "bricks" of the buildings-stories- we build. They are like the colors of an artist's palette. They need to be chosen carefully, strung into the thread of sentences that will accomplish a rhythm and a meaning.
         Every time I find a word I am not familiar with, I look it up in the dictionary. I tend to do this even with words I do know, when I suspect they have a meaning I'm not aware of. Then I jot them down and even create a sentence in my  mind in order to apply the new word. I keep the lists of new words and then I read them carefully again a few days later. It is like creating a "bank account of words". I know they will come back to me when I am writing. Sometimes I even find myself saying, "This is just the word I needed yesterday when I was writing that scene."
        I will give you an example of words that have different meanings I did not know about.
You may know that the word "maul" as a verb means " to beat, bruise, to handle roughly." But it also means "to strongly criticize something, especially a new book, play, etc." It also means " to touch someone in a rough sexual way which they think is unpleasant." The word "throe" means "pang, spasm", but it also means "a hard or painful struggle." To chide is "to speak out in angry or displeased rebuke". It also means, as a transitive verb, "to reproach in a mild and constructive manner."
         I can't get enough of them. Learning new words is an ongoing challenge that will die the day my own life comes to an end.
         What's your relationship with words like?


  1. I love words too. When I read a particularly nice passage, sometimes I read back over it aloud just to hear the "lyrics" :)

    Glad to be following!

  2. Yes, Mysti. I do that too. Those passages are musical to us!

  3. Don't show me a dictionary or thesaurus, unless you want me to get lost for several hours word hopping. :)

    I'm delighted to be a new follower and have left a response to your comment on Joy's blog.


  4. I suppose all writers love words. I like not-so-common ones, which doesn't work for today's writing. All the same, it's like I've discovered a treasure when I come across an unfamiliar word.

  5. Michelle: I' m also a dictionary-addict! Nice to meet you. I will be following your blog as well. (I will check the comment) J.L. Campbell:I feel the same way. I do like to be daring with the use of words. Finding the precise word is like a gift.


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