Monday, July 6, 2015

July's Word Out - It's going to be painful!

It’s a fine moist Monday in Denver, Colorado today. 

How is the weather in your neck of the woods? 

How was your holiday weekend?

Mine was interesting.  I’m still working on a side effect from it: I got attacked by something all over both of my hands on the fourth, and I’ve been working with home remedies to take care of the aftermath.  I believe it was a bunch of baby spiders that I disturbed when their nest came loose from one of the fishing chairs, as I cleaned them up for the park.  The experience has inspired the idea for this month’s Word Out. 

We are going to design words that will state the following feelings in one word: PAIN, burning, itching, swelling, frustration, and fear. 

I know, those words are all negative.  The goal for this month’s Word Out is to build a word that  does not offend the ear/eye, but that conveys those negative feelings (both physical and emotional), to the listener/reader.  The word must impart to your reader a complete mental image of your pain.  It does not need to be long, nor complicated, just strong and descriptive.

My word for this description was burrachewelling.   Pronunciation:  burr – ache- well- ing.  Translation: burning ache that is swelling and frightening.

As we write, we often encounter that terrible dilemma of tone versus word usage.  When we have to write about something negative, some of us decide to white wash the idea with a choice of soft words, rather than words that will make the point as strongly as we should make the point.  Others of us allow our emotions of the situation to get the best of us, and our word choices are not so good.  Then we make our point to strongly; and instead, of achieving our goal, we cause a new issue or cause offense to the readers. 

That is why the Word Out game is helpful as we write.  If we take a minute to make up a word, throw it into the work, then define it for the reader; we’ve accomplished our task in a controlled manner and diminished the chances of offending by use stronger words than we need to.  We also improve our chances of making an important point in an appropriate way; without losing the power we need to keep in our statements. 

Scripture:  Colossians 4:6 {KJV}  Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. 

Final thought:  In this era, the idea of saying what is on our minds, however we want to say it, has taken prominence over saying things in an appropriate way.   It is nothing to hear horrible swear words in casual conversation; even in the court room or the church building.  The opposite side of that coin is the soft-soaping of our message, known as political correctness.  People are losing the middle ground of direct politeness/polite directness. 

These theories of super blunt or politically correct make it difficult for writers to make their point appropriately to their entire audience.   So while half your readers like to be spoken to boldly and the other half need the soft touch; you can find middle ground be creating your own situation appropriate words; even for something negative. 

Until next time…

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