Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Recently Unearthed for Week Nine
Wednesday is hump day. I looked up the origins of this expression. Why? Do I really have that much time on my hands? No. I really don't. I'm editing. I'd go on Survivor and eat bugs to avoid editing. Googling hump-day is nothing. The problem with googling one thing is you get caught in what I like to call a google-spiral. It starts with hump-day then all of a sudden I've made the jump to Norse Mythology and finally Tom Hiddleston. If you can't make the connection, start with hump-day and see where you end up.
I was going to write some blah blah blah about the Oscars, but I don't really care - so moving on to something I'm willing to go to the mat to fight against.
Am I the last one to hear about the Said is Dead movement? I've heard some asinine bullshit in my time, but that one had me growling. Said is Dead indeed. John Warner on Inside Higher Ed put it pretty much the same why I would if this idiocy didn't make me so angry. His post Said is NOT Dead sums it up. What I found on the website for Mrs. Jenkins' Fourth Grade Class at the Bland ISD made me sad and happy. She has a lovely site that truly goes a long way to make English grammar accessible and introduces the rudiments of how to write. But then Mrs. Jenkins declares that Said is Dead! (with exclamation point rather than a frowny face) and that another ten words are "off limits". We give with one hand and take with the other. Said is not dead as Mrs.Jenkins has stated, nor does she have the capability to declare ten words we use in every day speech and writing extinct. Said is an integral part of a writers tool box. As are cool, like, good, bad, sure, very, mean, nice, and there. Tell a writer they can't use said and you've given birth to the kind of purple-prose writing monster that stalks editors dreams. Or worse - someone that describes a penis as a love-lance!
I'd love to let this Said is Dead thing go, but I can't. I had a teacher in high-school who told me I would fail as a writer when I told her this was what I wanted to do - I can't remember why she told me I would fail, but she was quite certain I would. This kicked the legs out from under me. She would probably have loved the Said is Dead movement. Tell a child that wants to be a writer that they can't use a word and you've immediately put a restriction on their creativity. Encourage them to play with other words, to see what else might work, but for the love of god do not tell them they cannot use a word!!! Growling slightly as I move on...
Moving on to websites that help find words. You are thinking (dare I say pondering or mulling - no, I say thinking) hmmmm Livia - wouldn't that be a dictionary like your favorite dictionary.com? Yes - and then again no - she said (mussed, muttered, whispered, sighed, stated) as she reached for her latte. I think it was Maya Angelou (please correct me if you know the quote and I'm wrong!) who once remarked that when she needed to write she checked into a hotel with a bottle of brandy, a bunch of legal pads, and a thesaurus. Woman after my own heart. I have a dog eared thesaurus I use when I'm feeling nostalgic, but as a rule I go to the net now. My go to site http://thesaurus.com/. For synonyms there is no beating http://www.synonym-finder.com.
Site to avoid - http://www.synonym.com/. OH MY GOD!!! I was given a two question quiz with every word I tried to look up - I'm not sure what vodka drinking and smiling people have to do with synonyms for box and pink. Waste of time!
What's coming up? The hunt for proper swag continues - I still don't know whether or not I'm going to go in that direction. I'm going to have a look at sites that promote free and cheap books on Amazon - if you have any recommendations please shoot them my way.