A common set of words

There are writings out there that won’t give us the extremely hard words, but rather throw out the more difficult ones. And when these words do crop up in all sorts of writings, the repetitive nature of seeing and hearing them again and again makes me remember them. So I know what they sound like, what they look like, and how to spell them. This is no trick, it’s just the way it is, and I think it may work for others like this as well. And if I don’t know the meaning, I will endeavor to look it up.

Image and words

I guess there can be many words that describe what one is thinking or that describe the image in one’s mind. But the word I used today was just right to describe the image in my mind.

The word I used was “astounding” which means ‘surprisingly impressive or notable’. The meaning fitted the image in my mind, so I used the word.

However, I didn’t have to use astounding in my writing. Could have extended the sentence out so readers can get what I mean with more words. Like saying, “This is surprising. I never expected it to be as impressive as it turned out. Just astounding.”

Hey, I may use that instead.

Words don’t come easy

A good word is hard to find. Well, at least, if the contenders for word of the day are temptress, sadomasochist, glacial and precarious. Temptress and sadomasochist have all those dodgy connotations and they sound horrible. Glacial and precarious fare better, but are kind of dull sounding words that lack spark and imagination, a bit pedestrian and straightforward, and that need a context to lighten them up. Which is what a context did for those words. As for the other two, well they stand out for all the wrong reasons, with a context or without a context. Therefore, as I came across those words in my reading, it was a dull and dirty day at the office with a little compensation that the duller words fared better. But the word of the day is “sarf” which wasn’t in my dictionary, I will have to look it up on google, but it sounds cool.

Words are powerful

Sometimes, one’s internal reality doesn’t have the words. But there are words for it.

I went along with my internal reality on some topic but without the words to describe it. It was this and that, but none of it seemed to fit. Until I cottoned onto it. By describing it with the right word, I understood what was happening inside myself. I defined it.

The word I used was powerful because it was the right word to use to describe the reality going on inside me. It all clicked. It was all right.

So, words aren’t empty, carry-less vehicles of expression. The correct words described reality perfectly.

Why writers change the sounds of words

During my daily reading I came across a real doozy of a word.

|Pachydermic|

Out came the dictionary–the print one and not the online one. Then I realized why I didn’t get it. It’s a non-word, being used for effect in the book I was reading.

The writer of the book I was reading was using the beautiful sounding pachydermic for his adjective although the dictionary refers to the clumsy sounding pachydermatous as the correct adjective.

No wonder he used pachydermic instead of pachydermatous, though.

Pachydermic is not really a word, but sounds so nice to include in print. Why use the clumsy sounding pachydermatous when you could use the non-word but beautiful pachydermic? A no-brainer.

Pachydermic, as it is spelt in the book I was reading, isn’t there in my dictionary,

So, to sound nice, turn pachydermatous into pachydermic. Tweak it! This is why writers like to change the sounds of their words.

 

A carefully chosen word

As I was reading the book of the prophet Ezekiel, I came to verse 34 of chapter 27. There was the word “foundered”.

The sentence around the word makes the word pretty easy to understand.

The sentence is, “Your cargo and your crew have foundered with you.” In other words, they’ve gone down.

When I looked up the meaning of foundered, the first two dictionary definitions applied.

First, foundered means ‘fill with water and sink’. ‘Fill with water and sink’ is precisely the obvious meaning.

Second, foundered means: (of plan) fail. The failure of a plan is exactly the right theme.

It’s wonderful that foundered means precisely what it means. A word chosen carefully and artfully at just the right moment and which does not contradict the context.

Two stand out words

The words stalactites and stalagmites sounds like another job for google search, I couldn’t figure them out, as my eyes gazed off the page and into space.

An internet search does come up with the exact definition which made complete sense as a google search does.

The words are related to science, describing something in the natural world. For words sounding so unnatural they stood out on the page. I won’t forget those ones.

Repudiate

The word repudiate means to deny, refuse to recognize.

On the news, repudiating often comes in the context of politics and goes like this.

A politician is on the defensive when asked about some controversial matter. “I repudiate that!” the politician says. No, it’s more like, “No comment” or “I deny that.”

The media seems to love politicians using repudiate in terms of “I deny that” or “I refute that”. But no politician actually says “I repudiate that!”. It is too much of a mouth full.

Why is repudiate even in the English language if most people refuse to use it? I think repudiate is mainly used by lawyers in their defense of a client. “He repudiates that!”

But there was a guy I saw on television who used it when being asked by a reporter, “Do you accept the charges against you?”

He said quietly, “I repudiate the charges.”

His comment went viral. Repudiate became a sensation for fifteen minutes. Its fifteen minutes of fame. That’s because hardly no one used the word, but he did.

I guess people still love that underused word very much. Repudiate has that exotic appeal in the right context.

 

 

 

Interesting exercise

I couldn’t have imagined how many words in Dante’s Inferno could be misunderstood, those mildly or moderately complex and very complicated words that requires a dictionary. I came up with about 300 difficult words which I randomly scribbled on a card to look up later. It became a very interesting exercise.

“Decurion”

While I took a break from a rather tedious writing project that has a deadline none too soon, I read a few pages of the epic poem Inferno and saw the word, “Decurion”. I couldn’t find a definition for it, except on google. It’s an interesting word, but the definition is rather dull. However, a educational excursion.