Struggle to find the ‘right’ word for your writing? So do I, sometimes. Maybe, in trying to improve my own work, I can help you.
Today’s words: Zenith, Zestfully, Zap, Zealot
Synonyms are alternative words that might say exactly what you’re trying to convey.
Zenith: Roget lists the following alternatives as headings: superiority, serial place, height, summit, and perfection.
The zenith is, as a loose scientific definition, the point in the sky directly overhead. It’s also, equally loosely, the highest point of a celestial body overhead. Figuratively, it also refers to the ultimate point in wealth, power, or position.
Under ‘summit’ are a further 59 suggested synonyms including top, pinnacle, crown, culmination, crest of the wave, and peak of perfection.
Usage for Zenith: ‘The sun, at its zenith, cast few shadows of any use for shelter from its intense heat.’
‘Deluded, and perhaps deranged, Vladimir took his place at the head of the Council, convinced his position at the zenith of the corrupt organisation was now secured for life.’
Adverbs, as the word describes, are an addition to a verb. A strong verb always wins over an adverb propping up a weak one. Alternatively, a change in sentence structure can help to express the same idea in a better way.
Zestfully: something done zestfully is performed with eager energy, gusto, vigour.
So, rather than use a clumsy phrase; ‘Teresa moved zestfully through the room.’ We could show her action and give the reader a more meaningful experience; ‘As Teresa rumbled through the room, small ornaments trembled on the furniture and the rest of the party moved swiftly out of her way, afraid of a collision or, worse, a sudden uninvited embrace.’
I recently decided to try my hand at poetry. The genre is enhanced by simile, metaphor, alliteration, analogy, rhythm, sometimes rhyme, and onomatopoeia, and can help in creating more effective prose. So, I thought I’d look at some of those qualities in these posts on language use.
Onomatopoeia: a word designed to imitate the sound associated with the object or action designated. Basically, an onomatopoeia is a word that echoes the sound it portrays. Most are either nouns or verbs. By adding ‘ing’, you can turn many into adjectives.
Zap: ‘Zap! The ray from his gun brought down the alien in clouds of smoke.’
And, my own, sometimes humorous, sometimes metaphorical, sometimes controversial, definitions of some common words for your entertainment, which I’ll list under The Delusional Dictionary.
Zealot: any person unduly swayed by the false promises of a prophet; an utter bore; someone mistaking violent retribution for rational action; an individual, usually lacking education, who translates the vague tenets of a faith into commandments for usually violent action.
I’m intending to continue this series with a final alphabetical run, so another 26 posts, and then I’ll close this particular chain of posts and move on to something new. It’ll have been more than a year of these word posts by then. And the series will remain available in the archive, should anyone wish to review it.
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