Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Word Power Wednesday

As you followers can probably tell, I'm trying a lot of new things with this blog. For one, I'm blogging daily, at least for a while until life gets in my way again.

I've also created themes for the days of the week using the first letter of the weekday and converting it to something writerly. Writerly, is that a word? I'm not sure. I'll have to look it up.

Some of you may know that English is not my first language. It is actually my third, but I have lived here, in the US, consistently for almost forty years so it has basically become my primary language. I still get confused with all the there & theirs out there. (Whew, a minor tongue twister) There are a huge host of words in the English language most foreigners stumble on or with.

What words can do...
They can make you smile...
They can make you cry...
They can make you angry...
They can make you sad...
They can make you happy...
They can cause hate...
They can cause love...
They can scare you...
They can give you hope...

Just to name a few. Words can make you run the gambit of human emotions. As an average Joe, words should be used with caution.

My momma always said, "Be careful what you put in your mouth and what comes out." She was right. Once a word is spoken, it is out there and you can never take it back. No matter how much you apologize...it is there in the hearer's mind forever.

Kind of like the internet. I yahoo'ed/googled myself this morning and found an old website I had a decade ago. No, I no longer carry this website, but there it is. All my blogs, my books, news articles where my name was mentioned, what I've done, college awards and recognitions are there for all eternity.

One of grandsons posted something on Facebook. It was highly inappropriate. First he's too young to have a Facebook page and the comment was one he thought was funny except it offended friends I have there. After Grandma threatened him with a bar of soap to clean up his filthy mouth, he posted an apology. But did it change the fact that he'd done it? No. All my 200+ friends saw it. To make matters worse all those who commented on it also had it on their pages for their umpteen zillion friends to see. The internet can be a dangerous place. If you think no one will know it's you...wrong! There is always a way of finding such information.

As authors, we use words to paint pictures in the mind of the readers. They have power. Strive to increase your power every day. In my downtime, (OMG, she has downtime?) I will play word games online. I subscribe to word of the day type sites. I use a thesaurus when I write. I do dislike overuse of words. I find it extremely irritating making me yell at the author to find another word already. I'll do this with comments on those I edit...Find another word. Another sticking point is words which you show off your word power and make the reader pull out a dictionary.

So in your arsenal of word power enrichment, you need a good dictionary and thesaurus. These are the two most important tools an author needs. Even if you use the online versions of these books, it has the same result...better word power.

2 comments:

S.P. Bowers said...

So True, words are some of the most powerful tools people have.

J.L. Murphey said...

So true and most times we take it for granted.