Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Orison of a confirmed Word Nerd

Call me a Word Nerd.

My dictionary not only has dog-ears, it looks like a Rottweiler's chew-toy.

My friends call me Thesaurus-Rex.

I mean, why say blue when you could use azure? Or cobalt, tourmaline or ultramarine? Is the sky the sky, or the peerless welkin? And what, pray tell, may alary be? In that vein, why be a bird when you could tweet like a parakeet?

Far be it from me to metagrobolize thee, dear reader!

Dialogue is not meant to sound how 'real people speak'. Sorry. The way real people speak - including me - is mostly boring and uses a tiny fraction of our vocabulary. Recently, I was accused by an Amazon reviewer of using words of greater than one syllable. Oops! (The good reader has a valid point, if you think about it). Alright, I know it has as much to do with moving a story forward at a good pace, and with style without the distraction of purple prose, but there is just so much fun to be had on the way that the creative mind simply cannot resist. It's like drinking a fine wine. Words are heady. Intoxicating. Malleable.

Exchanges like this make my grey cells fizz:

“You filthy crook,” she grinned, twitching her torso from side to side. “No monk, eh? You certainly aren’t!”
Kal grinned back. “Aye.”
“You unscrupulous, pilfering, snake-tongued old fraud!”
He stretched lazily. “Ah, scurrilous compliments.”
“You’re not some common, out-of-the-barrel thief, are you? You’re absolutely prolific.”
“All the women say that." 

So, yes. I love multisyllabic discombobulations. I resolutely eschew all forms of obfuscation.

I adore that the English language is growing all the time. There are 171,476 words in the current Oxford English Dictionary, 47,156 obsolete words and 9,500 derivative words. I plan to dust off a good number of those obsolete words, create a few derivatives of my own - anyone want to define transmutodraconisation for me? - and above all, have fun! Why not use any and all words that exist in the language? Do we have to 'dumb down' literature for our audience? No!

He pinched his nose between thumb and forefinger. “No fireballs or you’ll turn yourself into a living torch, o piceous paragon of four-pawed pulchritude.”
“Pack the dictionary away and climb aboard, Rider.”

“I was going to use ‘nigritude’ but couldn’t articulate the alliteration appropriately.”

Alright, I confess I go overboard from time to time. You might even twist my arm and make me admit, often. Unusual words and usages can be too much. But would you rather read:

He awoke. It was getting dark.

Or:

When he woke, a volcanic twilight enflamed his world in auburn and gold hues. 

Ah, well, perhaps I will learn the right balance one day. I love to learn. I love the challenge, the sounds, the art of language. I'm sure I drive some readers up the wall or down the garden path, but I continue to gaily dive down philosophical and descriptive rabbit-holes because for me, the English language is there and I love, love, love words. I love a ripping good yarn whether it is told in archaic anachronisms or modern minimalism.

So there you have it. I'm out of the closet.

I'm an unapologetic, obsessive-compulsive wordaholic. I'm a Word Nerd.

I'm proud of that.




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