Nothing — Everything

“The words of my book nothing, the drift of it everything.”

— Walt Whitman

 

Advertisements

LOL, My Bad, Ain’t Y’all Busted?

You’re a writer. Don’t be a jargon-peddling, slang-spewing, colloquialism-bantering quibbler….because your readers just might give up on you. How do you avoid those things? Start by figuring out what they are…

Jargon (type of shorthand between a closed group): See examples.

    • Code Eight – Term that means officer needs help immediately
    • SCOTUS – Supreme Court of the United States
    • LOL – Laugh out loud
    • NPO – A patient should not take anything by mouth

Slang (casual language; playful and trendy): See an article on the why-nots.

    • My bad
    • Busted
    • Bromance
    • Supersize

Colloquialism (words that are region-specific): See the definition.

    • Reckon
    • Yonder
    • Ain’t
    • Y’all

With these now safely under your belt of understanding, your readers will thank you. Go forth, dear writer!

Find the Word, and Magic…!

[found on tameri.com]

“We believe the greater the vocabulary, the more concise the writing. Unfortunately, readers might not understand what you write. The definitions for some words listed are not the “common” meanings; we have chosen to focus on the words and meanings used to impress audiences.

Serious readers enjoy new words and writers love using the rare greats. Reading teaches vocabulary as we study context at all levels: elemental grammar, plot, setting, and more. Readers thrill at the discovery of new words; writers should thrill at using them wisely. There is more to words than winning at Scrabble™.”

Example of what you’ll find on their site:

abrogate (v) – void, do away with, repeal

abscond (v) – to depart secretly

abstemious (adj) – moderate in consumption

brook (v) – to endure, tolerate

bucolic (adj) – rustic, pastoral, natural; simple

celerity (n) – speed, rapidity

censure (v) – to rebuke officially

chary (adj) – wary, cautious

diffuse (adj) – spread out, wide-ranging; using too many words

dilate (v) – expand

dilatory (adj) – delaying

enervate (v) – to weaken, to drain, to take vitality from

engender (v) – to create, to produce, to cause

feign (v) – to pretend, act, deceive

fervent (adj) – emotional; zealous

fester (v) – ulcerate; rankle. festering (v)

garner (v) – gather, store up

garrulity (n) – talkativeness

impervious (adj) – resistant, strong, incapable of being affected

impalpable (adj) – imperceptible, intangible

jejune (adj) – poor; unsatisfying

jetsam (n) – object tossed overboard to lighten a ship

kinematic (adj) – relating to motion

knavery (n) – untrustworthiness; lack of principles

libidinous (adj) – lustful

licentious (adj) – sexually immoral

mellifluous (adj) – sweet like/as honey

mendacious (adj) – dishonest. mendacity (n)

nebulous (adj) – vague, cloudy, murky; lacking form

neologism (n) – a new word or usage

neophyte (n) – convert; beginner, novice

obfuscate (v) – to make confusing; to mislead

objurgate (v) – to scold

paucity (n) – scarcity; lack

pedagogue (n) – narrow-minded teacher

quaff (v) – to drink; to quench thirst

qualm (n) – misgiving, reservation

refutation (n) – disproof of opponents arguments

reciprocal (adj) – mutual, shared, exchanged in kind

sanction (n/v) – permission, authorized; a penalty

sanguine (adj) – cheerful; hopeful

sapient (adj) – wise; shrewd

taciturn (adj) – silent; not fond of talking

tantamount (adj) – equivalent in effect or value

taut (adj) – tight, tense

ubiquitous (adj) – everywhere, widespread

ulterior (adj) – unstated; hidden

venerate (v) – to respect. veneration (n)

veracity (n) – truthfulness, honesty

wangle (v) – bring about by manipulation

welter (n/v) – turmoil; to roll, to tumble

xenophobe (n) – one afraid of strangers

xyloid (adj) – like wood

yammer (v) – to talk with a sad tone

zymotic (adj) – of fermentation; caused by disease”

 

[found on http://www.tameri.com/write/coolenglish.html]

Be Thou Funny; Nay, Hilarious!

[found on thewritepractice.com; by Joe Bunting]

Joe Bunting’s Commandments to Writing Funny”

“1. Thou Shalt Not Worry About Offending

First and most important, if you’re overly concerned about what others will think, don’t try your hand at funny . . . . stay true to your voice and integrity.

2. Thou Shalt Pay Attention to the Mundane

Jerry Seinfield wasn’t funny because he could do impersonations, or was overly animated or creative. He was funny because he told the truth about the mundane….

3. Thou Shalt Take Clichés to Extremes

…when there was report after report about the Occupy Movement marching on streets all over the nation, I wrote Occupy Marches on Sesame Street—twentysomething angst taking on the puppets who lied to them first.

Taking cliches to the extreme is the bedrock to satire.

4. Thou Shalt Use Metaphors and Similes Like the Bubonic Plague

(First, see Commandments 1 and 3.) Metaphors and similes are to funny as Hugh Grant is to romantic comedy.”

To read the entire article by Joe Bunting, click here.

[found on http://thewritepractice.com/four-commandments-to-writing-funny/]

Poetry Tools

Even writers of novels will run across the need to write a poem. Take J.K. Rowling for instance—how many poems and lyrics lace the pages of her hit series Harry Potter?

Here are some quick links to help poets on their journey:
  • RHYMES: Perhaps, you need to find a rhyme that has three syllables, and rhymes on the last two? Even if you just need a quick rhyme for a simple word—this tool is what you need: RhymeZone.
  • THESAURUS: Have you been searching for a different word, it’s on the tip of your tongue, but you just…can’t…reach it? An online thesaurus is what you need: Thesaurus.
  • DICTIONARY: Do you suddenly wonder if that word means what you think it means? Inconceivable! Use an all-encompassing online dictionary: MoreWords.
  • ACROSTIC: Poe used poetry that was mathematic, and shaped. He used acrostic form to a new level. The typical definition is “a series of lines or verses in which the first, last, or other particular letters when taken in order spell out a word, phrase, etc.” Poe used this form to hide the names of his mistresses within his art.
    • Here is a dictionary to find certain letters within the words you need (i.e. you need a seven letter word, and the fourth letter has to be an R): Acrostic Dictionary.
    • Crossword Cheats can be used in reverse to build an intense acrostic: Crossword Reverse