How many times have you used a word and realized later your usage was questionable?
Me? More than I’d care to admit.
Lately, I’ve been hunting for words in my brain. Big words, complicated words, little words, simple words-WORDS I SHOULD KNOW! Instead of gray matter, I have a mess of swiss and cottage cheese filling the noggin.
The words I’m looking for seem to be playing a complicated game of hide and seek. I feel and taste the word but I can’t get it to materialized on my screen or paper. This is happening whether I’m working on my various projects or at work. Not really a pleasant experience.
Inevitably, the word reveals itself at 2am in the morning. Teasing me out of sleep. I either wake up completely to insert the word into whatever project I’m working on or it slips away.
Sometimes I feel like there is a malevolent entity living in the unused portion of my brain. Teasing me with words and stories, then snatching them back. I hope that doesn’t mean I need an exorcist.
I love my subscription to the Visual Thesaurus. Lost words are found and other words are revealed. The website creates a dynamic ‘thinkmap’ that gives me all permutations of the word I may need.
My words tend to mimic a recalcitrant flock of sheep. I can guide and herd, but there will always be a word or two or three that escape. Leaving me holes in my stories.
Until I can perfect my word selection method, I will use what ever tools I can. Websites, thesauruses-old and new, dictionaries-old and new, and any other source I can get my mind on. If I need to, I’ll even make up words to obtain my writing objectives. After all, we make up words all the time. If we are lucky, they become part of our lingual vernacular, ending up in the Oxford English Dictionary.
Keep a close eye on your words, they tend to scatter without provocation. I’m going to find and gather my lost words. Wish me luck.
- A Word By Any Other Name… (classroomcorner.wordpress.com)
- OMG! Initialisms in the Oxford English Dictionary (sixestate.com)
- How Famous Words Originated, According to the Historical Oxford English Dictionary (brainpickings.org)