Sunday, May 20, 2012

Writing Spoken Here

Writing Spoken Here

Last week I admit I had some fun playing with words. Writers can have fun and if we aren’t we shouldn’t be writing in the first place. If you are not a writer, or haven’t tried to be one, the you might think that those of us who do support ourselves (even modestly), are really just having fun (at the reader’s expense). Well that isn’t exactly true.

Writing, like any other work, is first of all, just that: work. It differs from those occupations people pursue only for money, in that we do it because we love it, and love all the bits and pieces: words, parts of speech, spelling of words, punctuation, grammar, even outlining and indexing and all of those things that make up the writer’s box of tools. And of course, reading. That’s the best tool a writer has. It’s the one that teaches us how to write, mostly by showing us how others have accomplished the single objective we share: telling a story.

Writing can begin with something as simple as a letter or even a thank-you note. When most writers were very young, someone insisted that they write what they were feeling, in a form as common as a letter to a grandparent or aunt or uncle. Perhaps it was a thank-you for a birthday present, and you learned not only to say thank you, but to describe, however simply, how the gift made you feel, or what you did when you first opened the package. Such a start teaches one to think about what has happened, to describe an event or a feeling so that someone else can share it. (Let me emphasize right here that "awesome" is not an adequate or acceptable description under most circumstances.) From that beginning, future writers learn the pleasure that finding the right word, the perfect expression (and perhaps the correct spelling) can bring. It takes time, of course, to progress from a simple note to "real" writing, but once the pleasure of it is experienced, the desire for more begins to grow.

There is nothing as satisfying as writing something that "sings." Do it once, and you will want to do it again and again. And soon you are writing and writing and writing.

The compulsion to put words into readable form is one that doesn’t go away. A writer may be speechless, but never wordless.

Which brings us to the promise made in my previous blog: what the obscure words in that essay mean (in alphabetical order):

          Bumwhush - Ruin, obscurity, "gone to the bumwhush"

          Cabobble - To mystify, puzzle, confuse
          Daw - To be fully awakened; to be dawed: to have shaken off sleep, to come to one’s self out     of a deep sleep

          Quafftide - Time of drinking (As in "It’s five O’clock somewhere)

         Ramfeezled -To exhaust oneself with work

         Ugsumness - Terribleness

These and other old words are to be found in The Word Museum, the Most Remarkable English Words Ever Forgotten, by Jeffery Kacirk, (c) 2000, Barnes & Noble Books, 2004

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE some of these 'forgotten' words!!! Think we should still use 'em!

    Love you