Tag Archives: words

Words Matter Week 2011 challenge: day 5

Words, like moths, are captured by writers who pin them to the page in various forms. What writer’s work most deftly captivates you? Why?

O’Henry. I started reading O’Henry as a young teen. I thought I had a pretty good vocabulary, but he sent me to the dictionary every couple of sentences to look up new words. I fell in love with words, and the love affair continues to this day.

Another favorite writer I read as a teen was Damon Runyon. He wrote about New York, about Broadway, and as a native New Yorker, born and raised in Manhattan, I enjoyed reading about my city. He’s another writer who sent me to the dictionary, or to my father when the dictionary proved inadequate.

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Words matter week 2011 challenge: day 4

Thursday, March 10

Words can be mangled, misused, or misunderstood. What is your funniest example of mangling, misuse, or misunderstanding?

Due to not enough coffee, I can’t think of anything …

But, if you want to mangle, here is a neat site:
http://wordmangle.com/

You can paste in any text and it will mangle it but still, it claims, leave it readable.

Thuardsy, Macrh 10

Wdros can be magelnd, meussid, or modroetnuissd. Waht is yuor fseiunnt explmae of mglnniag, msiuse, or mrsniantiddeunsg?

Due to not enoguh cofefe, I cna’t thnik of annyhitg …

But, if you wnat to mlgnae, hree is a naet stie:
a hef=rtth”p://wnmorgdlae.com/http://wranomdlge.com//a>

You can ptsae in any txet and it wlil mnlgae it but slitl, it camils, levae it rleaabde.

http://www.wordmangle.com

Words Matter Week 2011: day 3

Today’s topic: What is your favorite quote about words? Why?

Here’s one:

Substitute “damn” every time you’re inclined to write “very;” your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain

And here’s my fave:
The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. ~Mark Twain

Because it’s so, so true. The thesaurus is your friend. Visit it often.

Words matter 2011 challenge -day 2

Words can change history. What speech or document do you believe to be most important. Why?

Note: I speak only for myself, as an American. No judgement implied on important speeches and documents of other cultures. But while I can’t say for sure that any particular speech or document had the most/greatest/whatever impact on the world, I can and do (see below) pick my own “greatest”:

My favorite document: The Bible, King James Version.
I can’t read the original, and yes, I realize that this is an interpretation as much as a translation, but I grew up with this version, and I’m moved by the poetry of the language. It’s beautiful.

Personal favorite speech:
Martin Luther King’s “I had a dream” speech, not only for the sentiment expressed, but for the power of the words themselves. Interestingly, some of my favorite parts of the speech were improvised.

Check out the Wikipedia article for more information about the speech.
I had a dream

Words Matter 2011 challenge — day 1

Is there a word that has changed, or could change your life? What is it, and what difference would it make?

When i thought about this, somehow I focused on finding a word, or learning about a word, that changed my life. Why this and not the event behind the word: “We’ve accepted your manuscript,” “It’s a boy,” “We’e getting married,” ‘You’re laid off,” or whatever?

I’ve been fascinated with words as far back as I can remember,so it’s hard to pick just one. But I will. it’s “rambunctious,” and I pick it because of my sister and my nephew.

My sister Michele lives in Mahnattan. As my sister tells it. she, a friend of hers and their two kids , both about two, were in a car going someplace. The two adults were in the front seat, the two kids strapped into the back. Both David and the other child were making a ruckus (another good word). My sister turned and glared at them. David stopped, considered for a moment, then said, “Rambunctious.” Where a two year old learned the word I’ll never know.

Here’s another word: “Dammit.” This one is for my son Colin. It was summer, and I was pregnant with my third son. I was pregnant enough that I couldn’t see my feet. Colin was around two (great age for kids words), and I had him on my hip, carrying him up from the beach when I tripped over a root. Colin looked down, considered for a moment, then said, “Dammit.” Unfortunately, I knew exactly where a two year old had learned a word like that

So those are my words for today: Rambunctious, and Dammit.