The Write Word? Post 2

Word cloud created using

Do you sometimes struggle to find the ‘right’ word for your writing? I do. Maybe, in helping myself, I can help other writers.

I’ve been posting pieces titled ‘Looking for the Best Word?’ until I reached post 70, at the end of 2017, and decided a different approach could help remotivate me and might be more use to other writers.

Today’s words: Ban/Permit, Dilemma or problem, Mauerbauertraurigkeit,


Ban/Permit, are antonyms. i.e. they mean the opposite of each other. Antonyms can be difficult to discover, as most thesauruses provide synonyms for words but not their opposites. There are several good reference sources, and I use The New Nuttall Dictionary of English Synonyms and Antonyms.

Ban has many synonyms, including exclude, obstruct, restrain, prohibit and disapprove.

Permit also has a number of meanings, including make possible, assent, facilitate, and consent.

Usage for ‘ban’:

‘One way an authority can inadvertently ensure public support for a song, story, or work of art, is for that authority to ban it. Public attitudes to bans generally result in greater interest in and acceptance of the banned item.’

‘As long as the bomb squad are dealing with the unexploded device, there’s a ban on driving vehicles past the site.’

Usage for ‘permit’:

‘Tell a teenager you’ll permit them to do something, and they’ll generally decide not to do it. Such is the rebellious nature of those in that age group.’

‘Once the unexploded bomb had been rendered safe by the bomb squad, vehicles were again permitted to pass the site.’

Commonly confused words:

Dilemma or problem?

You have a problem? In that case, you may not know what to do to solve it, though a solution may well be available.

If, on the other hand, you’re faced with a dilemma, you still have a problem, but have two or more solutions, all of which are equally unattractive.

So, use ‘dilemma’ only when such solutions are present.

Untranslatable emotions:

Mauerbauertraurigkeit: (German) An inexplicable urge to push people away, even close friends you really like.

Language learners might find this link useful for pronunciation, and you’ll reach a great group page on Facebook if you click this link.

I contribute a monthly column to an online magazine, Pandora’s Box Gazette where I also deal with the use of words. To see the most recent, click this link.

I welcome observations and suggestions here. Please use the comments section below for any ideas and thoughts. And, if you’ve found this post useful, why not share it using the buttons provided? Thank you.

13 thoughts on “The Write Word? Post 2

  1. Ah, Dewin, I understand your love of the land that spawned the wonderful wordsmith, Dylan Thomas. (I love Under Milk Wood, and his poetry).
    I’d forgotten, my 1st trip to Wales was when I was 17 and a photography apprentice in the RAF. They took us on a camp to a valley near Welshpool, where the first three days drowned us in almost constant rain that made the river swell. The fourth day, they took us into the mountains (this was in early May and I had my birthday whilst there) where the snow blizzard was horizontal, to take a look at a Shackleton bomber that had crashed there during WW2. The last few days began with a call at around 4:00 am to join a search party for a lost little girl from a local farm. Luckily she was found intact and safe. The rest of the stay was warm enough to enjoy swimming in the small pool we made by damming the swollen river!
    Regarding my name: an interesting guess, but no German connection. It’s a pen name. When I first started to write and post stuff online, I Googled my real name and found nearly 400 references to it, mostly to do with academic writers in USA and Canada. I chose Aken as a surname in part to honour my father, who died 3 weeks before I was born. His name was Ken. I added the A at the front as that’s also the first letter of my real name. By pure luck, the name is also tagged to a small village in Kent, and I believe I’m the only Aken writing, which helps with people searching for me!
    My wife speaks German from a time when she lived there for 3 years, but I’m a typical Brit when it comes to language, restricted to my native Yorkshire and the odd smattering of English!


  2. Poetry by Livinia Ren

    Really interesting post, words change emotions/emotive persuasive meanings in poetry. I do this for my students. You have a really good website

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Livinia. Of all the artforms using words, I find poetry the most fascinating, and challenging, both as a reader and a writer. I’ve been stretching my poetic wings recently, with a view to doing more and maybe even exposing it to the public on this blog!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I guess I’m still under the cloud of my schooling. I was a teenager in the early 60s, when ‘poetry’ was still very much a matter of form and structure. Free verse was still frowned on. But I love the way poets can condense a broad idea into a few words, and also describe a tiny event in great and often profound detail, so I’m gradually letting that ‘formal’ approach go. Like any form of art, it takes courage and confidence to break away from what we perceive as the accepted norms!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey Stuart, Namaste 🙂

    I came by way of Eugenia’s re-blog. I adore words and find them fascinating. I’m not familiar with foreign per se although I did study German for a couple for years: the word Mauerbauertraurigkeit is awesome. I may struggle to pronounce it correctly but it’s just so trippy a word that just merely trying to say it in the first place brings amusement. It sounds like a word that befits a semi-precious stone – I can’t imagine what that stone might look like.

    It’s meaning also fascinates and I wonder if you knew more of its origin? Is it derived from medical terminology?

    Thank you for an interesting word. Enjoy the remainder of your weekend 🙂

    Namaste 🙂


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi, Dewin. Thanks for your interesting comment. I ‘collect’ words. As a word wrangler, I gather new words about me whenever and wherever I come across them. Sometimes, I forget to note the source, though! I can’t recall where this one came from, but here’s the best link I could find about its meaning: it’s the 3rd down on the list:
      I hope you continue to enjoy my outpourings of language.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey Stuart, Namaste 🙂

        That’s my pleasure thank you for the ‘word’ and apologies for my typos – I blame the errant cat who strolls the keyboard stealing letters 🙂

        A word ‘wrangler’ – another excellent phrase Stuart, one I may bag and reveal at some future date. I recall Roald Dahl found use for the phrase ‘finger-smith’ when applying it to a poacher, a thief: I think it was in the story ‘;Jonny Champion of the World’?

        The link you’ve provided to those marvellous tongue-twisting creations will be shared…I know others who appreciate logical absurdity lol 🙂 I have my favourite:s

        9. Dreikäsehoch

        Word for a short person. Literally: three cheeses tall! What a tasteful put-down when the Boss gets on his high horse and needs taking down a peg or two.

        10. Kuddelmuddel

        A word for confusion, chaos, catastrophe, a muddle

        As I am from Wales, UK I can leave one of our beloved treasures to add to your eclectic mix. Being a man of word, you’ll know of this place name already…the second longest official one-word place name in the world. I’ve added a definition just to round off my comment:


        The name means: Parish [church] of [St.] Mary (Llanfair) [in] Hollow (pwll) of the White Hazel [township] (gwyn gyll) near (go ger) the rapid whirlpool (y chwyrn drobwll) [and] the parish [church] of [St.] Tysilio (Llantysilio) with a red cave ([a]g ogo[f] goch) 🙂

        Thanks for your company and discussion. I’ve bookmarked your page for future reference, thank you, and shall return for more outpourings.

        Take care fellow wordy, guardian of the keys to curious words 🙂

        Love and Peace. Namaste 🙂


        Liked by 1 person

        1. I just love ‘Kuddelmuddel’; what a great and onomatopoeic word for a muddle!
          In Wales, eh? I’m just across the border, in the Forest of Dean, with the Wye at the foot of the valley and the Severn just over the hill! So far, my only forays into your lovely land have revealed Monmouth, Chepstow and the great book capital of Hay on Wye. This year, I hope to explore the Brecon Beacons on foot, camera at the ready.
          The word ‘finger-smith’, by the way, as the name of a thief precedes the brilliant Dahl. A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English (the most expensive single volume book I own!) has it in use for a thief or pickpocket as early as 1823, with its slightly later use as a term for a midwife in C19-20.
          Keep digging those unusual words out!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Hey Stuart, Namaste 🙂

            Ah, I was curious to know where you might reside, and so relatively local to Wales: a beautiful of the UK in which to live. I imagine you enjoy the wilderness on your doorstep and the freedom it must offer.

            I hope you will thoroughly enjoy the Beacons, there are places to find so beautiful one can hear Angels sing 🙂 If time allows I’d recommend a voyage or two a little further North towards Gwynedd and Powys – approaching Cader Idris at any hour in any season is a memory to stay with you. Perhaps I am bias but I adore the Welsh countryside as much the folklore and oral traditions of storytelling that permeate the landscape. History is rife, and the range of history mind-blowing. I am an English living abroad in that sense, but I’ve ancestral ties to the beautiful land and feel very a great to the Country. Being that I am a Merlin fan adds heaps to my fascination with Wales and all things Celtic. I wish a wonderful time spent in a beautiful country. I think you’ll be left with a very different impression of Wales having taken time to delve into its heartland. And yes, you must take a camera and a pen to write!

            Thank you for additional form and detail regarding ‘finger-smith’ – old English offers up some awesome words that still work so very well when other words just would not do. They provide rhyming options when in a tight squeeze and in need of a word to reach for that not only sounds right but that fits the beat and melody. English is a beautiful language.

            I shall endeavour to bare you in mind Stuart as I travel WP and come across interesting words and phrases. I might even report back and share the love lol 🙂

            Take care my friend.

            Namaste 🙂


            Liked by 1 person

            1. P.S: Your surname – Aken – from North German and Dutch (van A(a)ken): habitational name from the city of Aachen in Germany, near the border with the Netherlands and Belgium. Variant spelling of Scottish Aikin. Interesting: is this what motivates an interest in the German language? 🙂

              Namaste 🙂


              Liked by 1 person

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