Sometimes struggle to find the ‘right’ word for your writing? I do. Maybe, in trying to improve my own work, I can help other writers.
Today’s words: Jaded/Refreshed, Joined at the hip, Jealously, Judicial/Judicious, Jouska, Jackal.
Antonyms: words that express the opposite of other words can be hard to find, because thesauruses usually give no examples. When lost for such opposites, I reach for ‘The New Nuttall Dictionary of English Synonyms and Antonyms’ published 1986, which generally solves my dilemma.
Jaded: means dulled or sated by continual experience or indulgence, tired, worn out.
Refreshed: means reinvigorated, restored, revived, renewed, given a fresh appearance.
Usage for Jaded:
‘Giles had spent years prowling the seedier part of town, hunting street women for gratification. It was no surprise that, after so much time gorging on superficial pleasures, he felt jaded and unsatisfied with life.’
Usage for Refreshed:
‘Sara’s life had been one of service, mostly to a demanding mother whose feigned illnesses had fooled her into the role of carer. When real illness finally took the hypochondriac from her, Sara emerged into society to be refreshed by those who showed her love and kindness.’
Cliché: a stereotyped or hackneyed expression; a phrase, opinion or other element of language that’s so overused it no longer holds power. However, clichés come into being as the result of their original and effective ability to describe a situation or quality in apposite terms. Their use should be sparing: in dialogue, they’re fine, providing the speaker would use them. They are words or expressions we’ve all encountered more times than…Here, I could use a cliché to illustrate what a cliché might be.
Joined at the hip: an expression meaning always together (lovers), lacking independence, interdependent, mutually supportive.
‘Jenny and John were always seen together. People said they couldn’t be parted, as they were joined at the hip.’
Perhaps better: ‘Jenny and John were mutually supportive. Their interdependency was often mistaken for reluctance to act alone instead of the true love it was.’
Adverbs: words we all use incredibly often, lazily taking the easy route instead of diligently looking for stronger verbs.
Jealously: is a fear, suspicion or belief that one is, or may be, replaced in the affection of a loved one; a god’s intolerance of any other god under worship; resentment or envy of another person’s success, happiness, etc.; suspicion, mistrust; concern for the welfare of someone or something important to you.
‘Jack knew his wife was a prize. He jealously guarded her at social events, keeping her away from other men.’
Maybe try: ‘Jack believed his wife was too good for him. At social events his fear of abandonment made him treat her as property to be kept from contact with any who might prove more attractive to her.’
Words often misused: English, because of its inheritance of words stolen from many languages, often uses words that superficially appear to mean something similar. However, as wordsmiths, we owe it to our readers to get it right, don’t you think?
Judicial: means of or pertaining to the proceedings in a court of law or the administration of judgment.
Judicious: means exercising sound judgment; wise, discreet, sensible.
So, we may all hope that judicial proceedings will be judicious, but there’s no guarantee that they will always be dealt with in a wise or sensible way. Judicial in a court of law. But judicious in general life.
Untranslatable emotions: The world’s languages contain numerous words for emotions (and other things) for which English has no equivalent. Most people know ‘schadenfreude’, from German, and ‘frisson’, from French, but there are more, and I’ll introduce some here from time to time.
Jouska: (Finnish) describes an imaginary conversation you compulsively run in your mind. It might be a crisp analysis, a liberating dialogue, or even a devastating riposte.
And, my own, sometimes humorous, sometimes metaphorical, definition of some common words for your entertainment, which I’ll list under The Delusional Dictionary.
Jackal: any businessman/entrepreneur whose sole concern is profit, often at the expense of their customers; an ambitious politician who cares more for his career than his constituents; an official who preys on the uncertainties and vulnerabilities of those he’s supposed to serve.
Your observations and suggestions are welcome in the comments section below. And, if you’ve enjoyed this post, why not use the buttons to share it with your friends? Thank you.