Words, Overused, Misused, Not Used!


Words can be meant in so many different ways.  This week I had some reminders how wonderful and how brutal words can be.

The good lesson was a challenge.

In a great group I am grateful to be part of , Jim Valko author of “The Find” (http://www.readthefind.com) put out this challenge that asked,

“You have to introduce your protagonist, who is a beautiful woman, but you can’t describe the color of her eyes or hair, or any facial features. To avoid being cliché you also can’t use the word beautiful.   What might you say in ten words or less?”

Beautiful is over used as many of our words are.  This is not to say it can’t or shouldn’t be used at all but not all the time until it starts to mean nothing.

What a great mind exercise this is I found my brain needed this.   It was tough.  I realized how lazy and comfortable I was just using the same words all the time.   Some people came up with wonderful alternatives.  I came up with a few that would not be at the top of my list.  My mind was filled with this all day trying to come up with new words to use to “paint those pictures”.
Oh there are the usual, but to be able to describe something that shows the listener or reader exactly what they mean without a picture is not that easy.   It means searching your mind a little deeper for those wonderful words that can so vividly describe the picture.  So many to use yet the same clichés are used over and over again .

This even came up while I was on the treadmill.   My workout started with;
“Baby Face” by U2.   He sings a line,

Your looking fine, oh so fine, oh my, dressed up as a lovely day.” 

My thought on this was, wow!   What a great picture that is.   I  pictured the lady that he was singing about as beautiful.   What is better than a lovely day?

There are so many ways to describe or compliment someone.   We have this fabulous, rich language with how many words??? According to the Global Language Monitor on May 24, 2011 “The number of words in the English language is: 1,009,753.   This is the estimate.”  (Thank you Google!)

I used to open the dictionary and pick a new word every day.  Time to start again!  Ok so out comes my dictionary,  I am really behind! Lol!   I probably won’t be able to learn all of them.   But I am going to try to learn more of them.   This exercise is  great stimulation for my brain and my writing.

Thank You Jim Valko for putting out this challenge and reminding me I need to expand my  vocabulary.   I  have started up
my brain’s engine again.   It has been going on empty lately, lol!

I will make an effort to start learning new words again.  It will help with the writing and I know it will keep this brain thinking.  Today I will go to the dictionary and pick the word, Words.   There are at least 14 descriptions listed  in the definition.
My Webster’s was put out in 1997 by Random House. (It is also a bright happy red, embossed with gold letters all bold in caps
and a logo , A REAL BOOK!   I mention that only because you can use the computer but personally I love books!)   Most likely there have been changes and updates since this one was put out, but this is a good place to start.

Please feel free to try this exercise and share any of your ideas in the comments.  I will add them
to my list! I am always up for learning new things!   This will be a life time project!

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2 Comments

Filed under writing, general, uncategorized

2 responses to “Words, Overused, Misused, Not Used!

  1. I repeat the same words again and again too, my favorite appears to be ‘smirk’. I like your dictionary tip, I shall put it to good use, and also use it as a prompt to write something. Thanks

  2. Thank you criminalpassion. It is nice to hear I am not the only one,lol!

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