Word Confessions

Writers are delusional. All of them. The smart ones check themselves into treatment. Those of us who are a little more... challenged... in areas of reason just keep putting pen to paper until our sanity is so far gone that the paper starts talking back to us. In exchange, we get to walk around with the oh-so-distinguished air of someone who's just super with the English language.

Totally worth it.

But here's the thing. Beneath that phony air (the one that hinders our social abilities and smells vaguely of cinnamon), writers tend to have a very love/hate relationship with words. We are not masters of language. We're members of the chain gang with Stockholm syndrome and we're praying to every deity ever known that no one will find us out. To prove it, I'm dumping a pile of word droppings here for your reading pleasure.

I hope you still respect me in the morning.

If ever you did, that is. I don't want to get ahead of myself with assumptions.

  • No matter how often I use the word specificity, I still have to say it one syllable at a time in order to say it correctly.
  • It bothers me that the word omelet isn't spelled "omelette," and actively have to remind myself that "trying to class up a pedestrian word" is no excuse for poor spelling. (Don't tell me something isn't allowed to be upscale if it came out of a chicken's multipurpose pooter. Think Faberge eggs, people.)
  • I was practically an adult before I learned that the proper pluralization for octopus isn't "octopi." (It's octopodes, but most nations adopted the word octopuses instead -- which seems somehow vulgar...)
  • I love the word copacetic, because reasons.
  • I don't understand why people don't use the words argle-bargle and bumbershoot on a daily basis.
  • I laughed for an hour the first time I heard the word hoary.
  • Absent sarcasm, I can't say the words sublime or mellifluous without sounding pretentious.
  • Absent an impressive case of the Mondays, I can't say hootenanny, kumquat, or bubbles in an angry tone of voice.
  • I love that the word bad in German means bath, and that gift means poison. I think this says something about the differences in our cultures.
  • I think American politics has forever ruined the word maverick
  • I spend way too much time reading phobia names and definitions because I get to learn words like genuphobia (the fear of knees) and hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia (the fear of long words).

So, as you can see, I'm still learning to get on with language in a civilized manner. Whether or not we'll come to an arrangement in the long run is anyone's guess.

Cheers, all.

Oh, and if you aren't sick of me just yet (How could you not be? What on earth is wrong with you?), take a gander at this week's interviews.
With Book Goodies:
Interview #1
With author, Val Muller

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Leave ye scrawlins 'ere, but mind that ye treat one another wi' decency, yeah?