Stink, Stank, Stunk

Funny Sounding Verbs

By Annette Rey

How often do you hear anyone say stank? It’s one of those words people think sound quirky, like it’s not a real word at all. People usually say, “The place really stunk!” I guess that’s okay among friends, in informal conversation.

But, as a writer, you need to show a higher level of education. You need to sound credible. You need to know the correct tense of a word to use in your sentences.

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Getting Rid of He Said, She Said

Well, Mostly

By Annette Rey

Writing groups on Facebook are full of people asking simple and complex questions related to their works in progress. The other day someone posed the question about dialogue. “What do you do to avoid using he said, she said? How do you designate which character is speaking?”

This post gives expert writing tips and advice on this important question and gives dialogue examples without using the word said.

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Sometimes, Just Enjoy Words

Reading Should be Fun

By Annette Rey

I wrote a post on creating imaginative words and plugging them into your writing. In the process, I mentioned Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky where the author did just that. To treat myself again to that frabulous writing, I read the poem online. Besides loving it all over again, what else I found sort of disturbed me.

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Quings and Krongs

Create Imaginative Words

By Annette Rey

Quings and Krongs – those words came naturally to my lips. I call my pets those names when they act silly, like cringing when I fluff a plastic bag, or flinching at a leaf blowing across their paths. These are substitute words, lovingly composed, but with particular meaning.

When I do this, I am reminded of the writings of Lewis Carroll.

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For the Love of Words

Love Them, They Will in Turn be Good to You

By Annette Rey

I have been called a “word nazi” many times in my life. This stems from my obvious love of words and the respect I have for the English language. It shows every time I open my mouth.

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For the Love of Words

Love Them, They Will in Turn be Good to You

 

By Annette Rey

 

I have been called “a word nazi” many times in my life. Most of those times, the title is not said with humor. Others couldn’t care less, and they are sloppy in English usage. Most do not welcome education or correction.

 

It is not my manner to be offensive. It’s just that some people will take offense no matter what you say or do. I love the art of using the English language in the correct way. If you ever watched the television series Frasier, you know the brothers were meticulous in their usage of the English language. I enjoyed that program because I could relate with the respect the language was given. I remember one scene where Frasier was befriending a group of English people in an English pub. Eventually, they tired of his stuffy ways. He was surprised and didn’t know why. When trying to win them over he claimed he even spelled color with a “u”. I had to laugh because I prefer to spell color c-o-l-o-u-r as the English do.

 

A good exercise is to go to a UK website and read just a few paragraphs. You will find a difference between US and UK word usage and spelling of a lot of words. The progeny of our forefathers were rebels and created their own language. Then again, the square miles of the US is so large, dialects were a natural consequence of the space between lives. Specific cultures developed based upon geography and settlement of the diverse areas. So language grew in diverse ways, as well.

 

In the UK the hood of a car is called a bonnet, an umbrella is a brolly, the human backside is a bum. In New York, the ba’les are bru’al. They drop the t’s in words (battles are brutal). We’re from the same country and have trouble understanding one another.

 

Do you remember hearing what General Patton said, in the movie Patton, when addressing the English people? “We are a common people separated by a common language.” This premise is not an exaggeration.

 

Rules of writing words had to be established to facilitate understanding between people. We need to respect those rules and learn them.

 

Between us writers, correction should be something for which we strive (I’m still trying to end a sentence with the looser style – to strive for.) I guess resistance to that is the word nazi in me talking.

 

I ask myself, “Is being a stickler on a subject all bad?” I don’t think so. Do you want to perfect your craft, whatever it is? Do you want to produce a lesser product by not trying as hard as you could? My motto is “Strive for Perfection.” Why wouldn’t you want to do that?

 

In that pursuit, books are important. They are tangible. The books I pull from my shelves to stack around me are dependent on the subject matter I am writing of at the time. Fiction guides for fiction writing, social media manuals for translating that mystery, word origins and usage books when I am focusing on particular words, thesauri for word reminders, forensics books for crime writing…you get the idea.

 

What would we do without words? We would be communicating in sounds. But, we have translated sounds into words, haven’t we? A e i o u are sounds, right? As we built words around these sounds, the language became more and more complex. Don’t we owe it to ourselves and our readers to be as precise as possible when using those words?

 

Words fill books. Get to know them, intimately. Make them your friends.

 

Love words and one day you may be called a “word nazi,” a term I consider to be a compliment.

 

How to Avoid Embarrassing Errors

All of Us Make Them

By Annette Rey

You hate it when it happens. You pressed send and later find out there are errors in your submission.

How could that happen when you took all the protective steps of proofreading and editing?

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