Books, writing, reading and words. I love them; do you?

The #Write #Word? Post 44

kaleidoscope

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Struggling to find the ‘right’ word when you’re writing? I sometimes have the same problem. In trying to improve my own work, maybe I can help you.

Today’s words: Kaleidoscope, Ka-ching, Kuebiko, Knight

Synonyms are alternative words that have the power to convey exactly what you’re trying to say.

Kaleidoscope: Roget lists the following sub-headings; medley, multiformity, alterer, changeable thing, variegation, optical device, and spectacle. Most of us are familiar with the children’s toy that produces a multitude of images using loose, small coloured objects and mirrors, of course. But do we know of and use the alternative meanings? Under ‘medley’ are a further 52 suggestions including variety, patchwork, mosaic, ragbag, gallimaufry, hotchpotch, mishmash, phantasmagoria, and menagerie. Whilst not all of these can be used as direct substitutes, they do give a wider view of the idea of the word’s meaning.

So, next time you’re tempted to use the child’s toy as a metaphor for some variation described in your text, try using one of the many other words that might apply, remembering to be aware of context, of course.

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.

Ka-ching: this word signals the sound that coins make when tossed into a container. It’s often used with glee by traders obtaining payment for goods and services. Metaphorically, it can describe the satisfaction gleaned from closing a deal, or gaining a bargain, or tricking a buyer into paying more than the object is worth.

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 introduce some here from time to time.

Kuebiko: the feeling of exhaustion that can be induced by witnessing or learning of acts of senseless violence. Something that appears to be occurring all too frequently these days.

And, my own humorous, metaphorical, and often irreverent, thought-provoking, and controversial definitions of some common words for your entertainment, which I list under The Delusional Dictionary.

Knight: a man elevated socially beyond the point where his true abilities take him; a man titled via generous gifts to a political party; the honour that bestows the title ‘Sir’ on a recipient, often deliberately misquoted as ‘cur’ by the perspicacious observer.

Language learners may find this link a useful aid for pronunciation, and there’s a great group page on Facebook here.

I contribute a column to a monthly online magazine, Pandora’s Box Gazette, where I also deal with the use of words. For the most recent, please click here.

Your observations and suggestions are welcome in the comments section below. And, if you’ve enjoyed this post, please use the buttons below to share it with your friends. Thank you.

And, a little extra for those of a curious disposition: what’s the difference between an anastrophe and a hyperbaton? This link please click to find out.

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