words, words, words

Saturday, 14 July 2012


I have been reading The Great Gatsby (notice the very beautiful cover) and like it very much so far. While I was reading it the other day, I came across this (very long) word:

I’d never come across it before! Apparently it means: ‘to walk or perform another act while asleep or in a sleep-like condition’. I love coming across interesting words in books (even if I can't quite pronounce them)!
I love scenes in books/films that start with rain
In first year English at university, we had to keep a reading diary. I wrote one of my entries on a children’s book (‘The Magician’s Elephant’) by Kate DiCamillo and remember there being a number of words in there that I thought were unusual choices for a children’s book (words like ‘exorbitant’, ‘cataclysm’, ‘edification’, ‘verbatim’, and ‘equivocated’, to name a few).
The words suited the sentences DiCamillo was writing though ...and I think the best way to learn new words is through stumbling upon them in a book. I hate when people talk down to children (mostly because I remember hating being talked down to). I think the only way children (or any reader) can learn is if they are challenged (...within reason).
On another (unrelated to the lovely DiCamillo) note... as much as I love interesting words, I do have a bit of a thing about writers using overly complex words just for the sake of it. It seems a bit self-indulgent and alienating to the readers. More about showing off the writer’s cleverness than honouring the idea they are trying to express.
Good writers, I think (or the ones that I would like to be like) choose their words very carefully, turning them over, tapping them, tasting them, trying to pick the right words for the idea. Sometimes that means dipping into the ‘lovely long word box’, but sometimes it just means using a simpler word! (I think my writing often verges on being a bit too simple. I'd like to find more of a balance.)
All the word-pictures (after the rain sentence) come from this book (that one up there). I bought it because the title made me laugh... and the descriptions are quite funny.
(Oh, and p.s. I got an iPhone on my birthday so I've gone a bit Instagram crazy.)

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