Mixed Salad of Thoughts

Monday, December 10, 2007


I have always believed in using proper grammar and have had the normal cringes at the wrong uses of "their/there/they're" or "it/it's" and all of the other obvious common errors, but having just worked on my fourth Nanowrimo novel I realized how much more focused and thoughtful I am of my grammar and writing these days. I think I have crossed over some line where now I feel completely uneducated and feel that my understanding of grammar is completely inadequate. I spend time fretting over whether I should be adding commas or semi-colons, over the proper use of a term, and over the changing of tenses and point-of-view. I struggle over proper punctuation to both conform to grammar rules and allow the proper reading of dialog.

I feel like having reached this level is like that moment when you realize it [u]is[/u] more fun to dance without being thrown around the floor, like the moment that you have a wonderful dance and realize how immature all of the rest of what you have been doing seems. I am at the point where reading about participial phrases is pleasurable because I can see how this knowledge will improve my writing and my communication in general. I am looking forward to reading up on punctuation and clauses.

I am an aspiring grammar nerd.

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Saturday, December 08, 2007

Nerdy words

So in a couple of lovely nerdy conversations I have had recently people were recounting their favorite words. There were some interesting choices:

and a few others that I didn't know and apparently still don't, as I can't really remember them. But there was one that stuck in my mind as a new word with definite possibilites:


Main Entry: ek·phra·sis \ehk-fra-sis\
Variant(s): also ec·phra·sis
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural ek·phra·ses also ec·phra·ses \-sēz\
Etymology: Greek ekphrasis, literally, description, from ekphrazein to recount, describe, from ex- out + phrazein to point out, explain
Date: 1715
: a literary description of or commentary on a visual work of art

which reminds me of:

pastiche \pass-TEESH\ noun
*1 : a literary, artistic, musical, or architectural work
that imitates the style of previous work; also : such
stylistic imitation
2 a : a musical, literary, or artistic composition made up
of selections from different works : potpourri b : hodgepodge

Other words I might submit for my list of interesting words (not that I'll ever use most of them) my favorites in italics:

confabulate = confer
octothorpe = #
metonymy = word used for what it represents: "the Crown", "The White House"
phantasmagoria = display of optical effects/illusions
tergiversation : equivocation = evasive speech failing to make a clear statement
eidolon = ideal (think: similar to an idol)
encomium/panegyric = enthusiastic praise
bloviate = to speak or write verbosely and windily
nefarious = flagrantly wicked
tenditious = biased
aleatory = relating to chance or luck
capricious = unpredictable- governed by sudden, impulsive ideas or actions
desultory = marked by lack of direction/purpose (jumps around topics)
non sequitur = statement does not follow or relate to anything previously said.
prate/claver/palaver = idle chat
redolent = fragrant
susurration = whisper
suss out = figure out (british)
penetralia = the innermost or most private parts
axilla = a more interesting word for armpit
poltroon = coward
per contra = by contrast
proclivity/ = a strong inherent inclination towards something objectionable
propensity/ = uncontrollable inclination
penchent/ = irresistible attraction
predeliction = strong liking derived from one's temprament
pretentiousness = expressive of exaggerated importance, stature or worth
misoneism = hatred of change
misanthrope = a person who hates or distrusts humankind
eristic = characterized by disputatious and specious reasoning: argumentative

Anyone have any favorites they care to add?

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