Hello Friends, Visitors, and Writer’s,
TODAY’S WORD: WORDS
Unless you’re a hermit, you use words every day to communicate with those around you. Worlds enable us to have civilization as we know it. They have literally shaped our progress from the Neanderthals to the Shakespeares to the Stephen Hawkings.
The only major drawback is that words are so imprecise. It’s a small miracle that we ever understand each other, let alone Shakespeare. We won’t even talk about Stephen Hawking.
Take a simple, straight-forward word like ‘fly’. It denotes an insect that is annoying to the max. “This fly just keeps bugging me.” Oh, it also denotes a potential problem. “But there is a fly in the ointment.” Or a mode of transportation, as in “I’ll fly to New York and on to Rome.” (I wish!) Or the opening in a pair of trousers. “Psst, your fly is unzipped.” Or a dubious enterprise. “It’s just a fly-by-night operation.” Or anger, as in ‘to fly off the handle’. Or haste: “They do it on the fly.” There are more but you get the picture.
But multiply this complexity with a simple three-letter word by the zillions of words in the English language. It totally boggles the mind how any of us ever understand any of us.
This multiplicity of meanings is especially problematic for writers. Not only must we choose our words carefully, to make our stories as lively and interesting and entertaining as possible but we must also be sure that a reader can distinguish what meaning we intended by any given word. Nothing ruins a story more than to bump into a sentence that makes no sense. When you bump into several such sentences, you’ll probably fling the book away in disgust.
Here’s hoping there are no flies to bug your reading. Until Next Time Friends!
Ellie Pulikonda, Author & Writer