Today is about words-- the clay of our craft, the fiber with which we spin our yarns, and so on and so forth. (Insert suitable metaphor here.)
Do you use your thesaurus whilst writing? I do-- Unapologetically. I find that my feeble, aging brain wants to use the same words over and over again, while at my more youthful core, I’m all about choices. It’s not that I don’t know another word for “bright”, it’s just at that moment, I can only think of the last two synonyms I most recently employed, and I need more options—now please! My brain is cramping!
Our national vocabulary is shrinking. Compared to say, an Elizabethan Englander’s pantheon of words, here in modern-day America our lexis is dwindling to a shadow of its former self! Comedian John Branyan proves this point delightfully (on YouTube) where he tells “The Three Little Pigs” in Shakespearean English, making clear the startling difference. (Make sure to stick with it until the hilarious ending.)
So fabulous Readers, once a week on Mondays--if you can stand it, I shall bring forth from the vault a word that is pining for more usage; a dusty, old workhorse resting somewhere on forgotten laurels. The challenge? Simply to use it—merely once that day, perhaps on a manifesto like Twitter and before we know it, we are littering the world with erudite gleanings, enriching the vocabulary of the world, one word at a time! (shiver!)
Oh--If anyone can think up a name for this super-hero in the making, I’ll use it!
Word for today:
Erudite: Having or showing knowledge that is gained by studying.
As an adjective it should be simple enough to work into conversation. Erudition is more of a challenge, meaning: the depth, polish and breadth that education confers.
To finish, I would like to draw attention to some naughty, overused words, which are hogging valuable space in our brains and in our language. These words are not only starting to stink like an over-ripe banana, but are taking the place of other words waiting, anxiously at the gate.
Heading the naughty list is “epic”. This word should never be used again unless the user is referring to a work by Homer. Punishment for usage would be having to read said work by Homer.
“Snarky” has appeared, not of her own accord, for she is a word of much merit, however overuse is rendering her true meaning—well, meaningless. I fear this fabulous word will suffer the fate of other like words, such as “bitchin’”, and sometime in the very near future, when one is asked how their Subway sandwich is, the response will merely be, “Totally Snarky, Dude.” So back off the snark, so she will remain ever-fresh and useful at times when only snark will suffice.
“Thing”. Valuable at times, but it is being used as a poor substitute for words that have lost their rightful place, as in “Can you hand me that…thing over there?” We’ll just attribute that one to Seasonal Depression and lack of Vitamin D this time of year. All of you living in sunny climates have no excuse!
“Dystopian”. I have nothing to say. (Not being—like, snarky here.)
What are your favorite words? Do you have any that pop into mind? Which words do you keep in your back pocket, pulling them out at parties to dazzle others?
Go! Populate the earth with animated, brilliant words.
Use use ‘em or lose ‘em, Folks.