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Lobby 2. Welcome Main Community Discussion Board topic #91229
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Subject: "RE: What's in a word?" Previous topic | Next topic
Mesg #91230 "RE: What's in a word?"
Author CatrinP     Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list
Author Info Member since Dec 05th 2005
2772 posts
Date Mon Jul-30-12 03:51 PM
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The wrong word can halt a story for a reader, not just a 'big' word. Unfortunately each reader is different is what they would regard as the wrong word.

For example; I read a story, set in English countryside in the 1920's, where the narrating character described the colours of the market around her, and she focused for a moment on the fruit stall - smooth red apples, dented oranges and yellows of the citrus fruit, bubbles of green grapes, prickles of brown kiwis.

And I'm like 'What? Wait up!'

See, because of a family member being involved in the production of kiwi fruit, I know that kiwi fruit were originally known as chinese gooseberries and the name change didn't occur until the '60's and that kiwi (without the fruit) is an American thing. The British and Australians call them kiwi fruit.

But how many others would know that?

Should only simple language be used?

Nah. Nothing wrong with simple language, I prefer to use simple words. Mostly becuase my own vocabularly isn't grand and highflauntin (arrogant, boastful, conceited, flaunting, grandiose, high and mighty, important, lofty, ostentatious, overbearing, presumptuous, pretentious, puffed up, puffy, self-centered, stuck-up, swanky, uppity, vain) but also because I come from a British background and mostly write to an American market and I keep out words I feel are too much Britsh.

But I also write to suit my characters.

A boy from the wrong side of the streets isn't going to talk, or think, using big words, so when I'm narrating using that boy all the words fit his background. An English professor is going to use big words, so the chapters narrated from his point of view use big words. A car mechanic would use words that revolve around mechanical things, a werewolf uses a different set of words again.

Each story, each character demands thier own vocabularly - big or simple.

And it doesn't mean that the story can't be a powerful story.

  

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What's in a word? [View all] , Weird Jim, Mon Jul-30-12 02:13 PM
  RE: What's in a word?, CatrinP, Jul 30th 2012 #1
RE: What's in a word?, Wandering Author, Jul 30th 2012, #2
RE: What's in a word?, mpv.muthu, Aug 02nd 2012, #9
RE: What's in a word?, Weird Jim, Aug 02nd 2012, #10
RE: What's in a word?, Linda Adams, Jul 31st 2012, #3
RE: What's in a word?, MarFisk, Jul 31st 2012, #4
      RE: What's in a word?, Linda Adams, Aug 01st 2012, #5
           RE: What's in a word?, MarFisk, Aug 01st 2012, #6
                RE: What's in a word?, Linda Adams, Aug 01st 2012, #7
                     RE: What's in a word?, MarFisk, Aug 01st 2012, #8

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