Wednesday, June 3, 2015


Hello people! Today is the first Wednesday of June and time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group post, created by the one and only Alex Cavanaugh. My insecurity at the moment is about the deadline I've given myself to complete book #3 by August. However, that's not on my mind today...which could be the issue.

I’ve talked about this before. Now, I believe it deserves a post of its own.

As a writer, I know why there are twenty different words to describe afraid, happy, sad, surprised, etc. After all, if there was only one word to describe a feeling or situation most books would end up sounding like a first grade reader. 

Let me turn to my thesaurus…okay, here we go: characterize, define, depict, illustrate, portray, all to describe the word describe….get the picture?

After a day of writing I go back and try out my own narration. That’s the best way for me to see if the sentences flow. Sometimes, when reading out loud, I find myself ending a sentence different from what I’ve written (that’s how I know it doesn’t sound like I talk.) 

Also, this process helps me catch where I have used the same word a couple of times in the same paragraph. Believe me, the way I write, that happens a lot (see paragraph above), mostly because I have to give myself permission to just write and not edit at the same time. If I did, I’d never get past the first paragraph. That’s when I use the thesaurus…such a handy tool for a writer.

But the point of this post is about words themselves. Who comes up with them? Who gave the Oxfords and Websters the thumbs up to say what becomes a word? There are some weird ones out there. 

For example, the other day a friend of mine on Facebook posted this word:

Ultracrepidarianism - Luckily he was kind enough to give the meaning - the habit of giving opinions and advice on matters outside of one’s knowledge or competence.
He also added: “A condition I sometimes suffer from.” (which I found amusing)

Here are a few others:

Tmesisthe sole term in the English language to begin with tm – the insertion of one or more words between the words that make up a compound phrase, as in “what-so-ever” inserted in the middle of “whatever.” (I thought it was a dash…)

Deipnosophista person skilled in the art of dining and dinner-table conversation (a host?)

Mumpsimusa traditional custom or notion that is adhered to although it has been shown to be unreasonable (over-kill?)

Floccinaucinihilipilificationthe action or habit of estimating something as worthless (a snob?)

Presenteeismthe compulsion to spend longer at work than is required or to continue working despite illness (martyr? germ-spreader?)

Spaghettificationthe process by which (in some theories) an object would be stretched and ripped apart by gravitational forces on falling into a black hole (the big oops? – actually thought for sure this word would have something to do with meatsauce)

Spitchcockan eel, split, then grilled or fried (really?)

Triskaidekaphobiaextreme superstition about the number thirteen (paranoid?)

See what I mean? Okay, I’m done, oh, except for this last one. Kerfuffle.

Have any weird words to share? I’ve got more, but I’m gonna stop.
You’re welcome...