The #Write #Words? Post 11

Looking at Onomatopoeia and Metaphor, Simile, Collective Nouns, andmy Delusional Dictionary. For definitions of those, click here to read the introductory post to the series.

This week’s words: Grumbling, Good, Gang, Gardener.

Onomatopoeia: Grumbling

‘Some folk spend their lives grumbling, usually about matters they can’t control. In fact, some people are said never to be happy unless they’re grumbling.’ Grumbling has a sibling that’s almost a homophone; ‘rumbling’. Both words are used to describe the noisy phenomenon of the upset stomach: ‘His stomach was always rumbling.’ ‘Her stomach grumbled every time she became hungry.’

Simile: As good as gold

Good, in this expression, is generally used in the sense of morally correct, right in action. But it’s connection to the incorruptible precious metal lends it an entirely different meaning. The expression surely must mean ‘good’ in the sense of ‘reliable’, ‘solid’. Gold is, after all, the material generally used as a guarantee of fiscal confidence in a nation’s currency. This is why so much of the stuff is apparently stored in Fort Knox.

So, if we want a simile that really means morally good, we’re better off using something else. ‘Sarah’s behaviour was always good; she acted honestly, as good as any saint.’ Of course, this has religious connotations that may not fit your own usage. See if you can come up with another simile that’s more generally applicable.

Similes to avoid because they’re clichés?

As good as gold

Collective Nouns:  Gang

This collective noun is generally reserved for groups that are not respected. Bearing in mind the current state of world politics, perhaps we could apply it to them: a gang of politicians, a gang or Conservatives, a gang of Republicans, a gang of Fascists?

Gang of elk, hoodlums, labourers, slaves, thieves: these are the usual gangs described by this collective noun.

Delusional Dictionary: Gardener: a euphemism for a specific type of deity, compared, in the driving balance of care and pragmatism, to the average gardener; someone excluded from work whilst undergoing investigation for a suspected misdemeanour.  

For those learning English as a language, there’s a useful guide to pronunciation here, and Facebook hosts a great group you can join here.

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