When I was a teenager I collected favorite words and phrases on index cards. I no longer have those cards nor the rusty metal file box I kept them in. In some ways it would be exciting to read them again and see what words would still have meaning for me.
Then again, perhaps it is for the best that they no longer exist. There is something frightening about our older-self meeting our younger-self and discovering that we have changed — or that we have not.
What I have learned about words since I was a teenager could fill volumes. Here are a few thoughts…
- Single words can be powerful. They can encompass a universe of meaning or mark on our souls. Writers collect words. I have an overflowing looseleaf binder of words I love and use in my writing. Are you a word collector too?
Salubrious | Toothsome | Euphony | Gobbling | Miraculous
- Phrases make us think and feel. They add action and texture to the single word. They are similes, metaphors, bits of events and sensory splashes. I keep a small notebook in my purse and jot down phrases describing people, events, and nature whenever the inspiration strikes. Do you?
the hunched shoulders of a homeless man
the pervasive stink of disinfectant and alcohol
the sticky sweetness of a lollipop
- Paragraphs form complete thoughts. As every high school student has learned in English class, there’s a beginning, a middle, and an end. In fiction, a paragraph might start with the setting, then an action, followed by a physical or emotional reaction, and end with an internal or external thought or decision. When I write a rough draft, I never think about paragraphs. But when editing, the paragraph is the thing. Each one needs to be complete and yet link the one before and the one after. Otherwise the writing sounds choppy, and the action gets lost. When paragraphs are well-written, the reader will never ever notice them.
It was a night for lovers. The city air had that clean, fresh Sunday-night taste. The factory emissions from the weekdays had blown away at last. Overhead, the stars twinkled like the children’s rhyme. Melissa slipped her arm into his and dreamed of romance and kisses and a future with this man as they walked along the river’s edge. He was everything a girl could want.
Snippet from Beneath the Skin
- Quotes convey the thoughts of others over time and space. They embody history, hope, dreams, and nuggets of wisdom. It is not surprising that quotes are widely re-shared and re-tweeted on social media. How many times have you shared a quotation? I must admit that I am a quotation junkie. perhaps, you have seen some of mine floating around the Internet. If not, I have posted a few below. You will find more on my favorite Quotes forReaders & Writers in my Google Plus Collections. Go take a peek and feel free to share on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and anywhere else!
Of course not everybody loves quotes. Here are some quotations about quotations…
A quotation is a handy thing to have about, saving one the trouble of thinking for oneself, always a laborious process. A.A. Milne
A facility for quotation covers the absence of original thought. Dorothy L. Sayers
Quotation, n: The act of repeating erroneously, the words of another. Ambrose Bierce
What do you love about words?
Let me know. I love getting your comments & questions.