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

The #Write #Word? Post 49

Word cloud via wordart.com

If you find it hard to discover the ‘right’ word when writing, as I do sometimes, maybe I can help you as I try to improve my own work.                     

Today’s words: Pantomime, Pertaining to, Personal opinion, Priest.

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

Pantomime: Roget lists the following sub-headings; mimicry, spectacle, gesture, gesticulate, acting, and stage play.This word originally described an actor who conveyed emotion and meaning through gestures without words. But the most common meaning today is that of an entertainment, for children (mostly), using a convoluted plot, slapstick comedy, stereotypical grotesques and cross-dressing heroines/heroes. As creative writers, our most common usage involves metaphor in which we use‘pantomime’ to describe the irresponsible, bizarre, or surreal actions of an individual or group, often not involved in stagecraft at all. Probably the most relevant examples at present are the descriptions of Donald Trump’s extraordinary capering in the role of US President, and that of Theresa May, as Prime Minister of the UK, in dealing with the Brexit issue. Both individuals demonstrate bizarre, incredible, and even surreal behaviour in their desperate attempts to curry favour with their peers and voters.

Plain-LanguageAlternatives for Wordy Phrases: some writers, especially those new to the craft or writing in English as a second language, use more words than necessary. We can often substitute a single word for a phrase.

Pertaining to: this short phrase means ‘about’,‘on’, or ‘of’, so, as creative writers who care about word use, perhaps we should employ these simple words instead of trying to look clever by using a pompous phrase?

Redundancies: words serving no purpose. In speech they’re spacers, giving the speaker time to think. But in writing they slow the reader’s progress.

Personal opinion: an opinion is always personal.Unless we’re reporting the opinion of someone else, and need to describe that view as belonging to that individual, we don’t need ‘personal’. And, even in the latter case, we can avoid ‘personal’ by naming the individual in relation to the opinion. ‘In Michael’s strident opinion…’ Much better.

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.

Priest: a charlatan posing as a teacher/guide; a person who believes faith in something unproveable is more sensible than belief in something derived through evidence; any of a number of individuals who aim to spread their mythology to as many people as possible to expand their control over those who can’t be bothered to think for themselves.

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

I welcome your observations and suggestions 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.

2 Responses to “The #Write #Word? Post 49”

  1. Tom Austin

    What would be wonderful is an index to previous word choices that you’ve already posted. I writing my third series and I’m at my wit’s end trying to find other words for one word -I. I’ve tried many a thesaurus but I have found them lacking. This a fantastic resource. Thank you, Stuart.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • stuartaken

      Hi Tom, I’m ending this particular run in a few weeks, once I reach the end of this final alphabetical series. I’ll have a go at posting such an index then. Good idea, thank you!

      Like

      Reply

Leave a Reply to Tom Austin Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: