The Business of Words

Writing on a daily basis means that I think a lot about words and how to use them. Words inspire and infuriate me, lurking like silvery small fish in a tangle of dark water weed, there one moment then slipping out of my hand just as I think I have them, sliding from the page. There are words I love, like delicate, ethereal, winsome, piquant, and others that I love to use because they are fun to write, collywobbles, rotund, bellow, doodle. There are also words I try to avoid, all that management double speak, like ‘at the end of the day’, or the phrase ‘nom nom nom’, which seems to be replacing ‘yum yum’ and drives me into an unreasoning rage whenever I have to read it. And ‘collateral damage,’ a nasty little milquetoast term that refers to destruction and the death of innocents as though it is some sort of excuse, that it can’t be avoided, the shrug implicit in the phrasing.

Words are slippery, twisty, tricky – how often have you sat there thinking ‘what is that word? How can I describe it?’ As a writer, you have to be able to call up words when you need them, to take that picture in your mind and put it on the page in a way that someone you never met can see the same picture, or at least understand the idea. It’s bloody hard and if I can do it only once in a while then I consider that to be a good thing.

So how about you? Are there words you love, words that make you laugh or that you hate with a passion? I would love to know…

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