Tag Archives: words

Ten Words That Should Be Voted Off The Island

I saw an article today on words that were recently added to the Oxford American Dictionary (OED) and while I really liked some of them (wine-o-clock 🙂 ), there were others I did not. Hangry (getting angry because you are hungry) is probably a very real state of being, but I find the word itself to be really annoying. This got me to thinking of other words that I would love to see removed from any dictionary and from the vernacular. I’ve recently been binge watching old seasons of the TV show, Survivor, so in my mind right now I say these words should be voted off the island.

A lot of these words are most widely used by the younger generation so it may make me the cranky soon-to-be-40-year-old, but so be it. For your consideration, my top ten words that should be voted off the island. Please feel free to share yours in the comments.

10) Obvi- This word highlights that something you’ve said is obvious. This isn’t horribly offensive but it comes off as rather obnoxious, thus, let’s just let it go.

9) Twerk – This is a suggestive dance move I am fairly certain they don’t teach at Arthur Murray. Thankfully we don’t hear this word as much as we did when Miley Cyrus had her infamous twerking moment at the VMAs, but it does crop up occasionally. I would happily see the word (and the dance) fade into a distant memory.

8) Chillax – A combination of Chill and Relax, often accompanied by Dude or Bro, as in “Chillax, dude”. Perhaps I could chill and relax were it not for the use of this word.

7) YOLO – You Only Live Once! While I embrace the sentiment, I find going into a difficult or challenging moment with a rallying cry of YOLO to be quite silly. When I was younger, we said Carpe Diem as the teacher Robin Williams played in the movie Dead Poet’s Society encouraged. I like that better. But I *may* be biased. 😉

6) Cray (or Cray-Cray) – this is a version of crazy. It is absolutely cray-cray to use the word cray. Just say crazy.

5) Bestie – Best friend. I don’t love BFF either, though I have been known to use it on occasion, but bestie is just like fingernails on the chalkboard.

4) Bae – this is another word for baby or sweetie. I’ve seen it defined as “Before Anyone Else”. I’ve seen celebs refer to their significant other as their bae. I can’t explain why exactly, but this one is also extremely cringe-worthy for me.

3) Totes– short for totally. I’ve seen people reply when agreement with “totes”.  It is also quite common as a modifier (see #2). You can also just throw it in anywhere you want apparently. I’ll just say that I totes want this word erased from my memory please. 🙂

2) Amazeballs – When something is especially amazing it becomes Amazeballs! To make it extra fun, add in totes! That is totes Amazeballs! Aaaaaaaaaaaand I’m dead.

1) TY – short for Thank You. I know the trend is to shorten things to fit into text and tweet length, like IDK (I Don’t Know), ILY (I Love You), IKR (I know, right?) and IRL (In Real Life), but as someone who loves words, the shortening of some can be especially annoying. “Thank you” should be spelled out. Take the time to actually thank someone, not just jot down a few letters and call it a day. I wrote a rant on my blog about this one if you care to read, but I just had to put it at the top of my list to be voted off.

What about you? Do any of these words ruffle your feathers? Are there any you think should have been included? Let’s hear them in the comments.

Thank you (not TY) for reading. Have a great week!

~CJS

 

 

 

Pictures Worth a Thousand Words?

Is a picture worth more than 1000 words?  Do words carry more impact than a picture? Perhaps it depends on the words, and the picture, but the question is an intriguing one.

I recently watched a movie called Words&Pictures with Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche that brought this question up in an interesting way, as both Owen and Binoche play teachers at a private high school where a “war” arises between the Honors English students (lead by Owen’s English teacher and struggling author) and the Honors Art students (championed by Binoche’s artist and art teacher). There are installations of both words and of pictures set up by each side making a case for each. There is also ultimately a challenge where the artist presents one painting that the author will then meet with a thousand words in challenge. Which wins? Sadly the movie is really just average and has a rather lame rom-com type scenario where the two verbally spar and then fall in love, then there is a conflict. Blah blah blah as Binoche’s character says at one point, but the concept of  a war between words and pictures was a good one.

Since my majors in college were English and Speech Communication, you can imagine my tendency to rule in favor of words being the most powerful. However, I can concede the overwhelming power of a photograph, a drawing or a painting. We writers frequently use pictures as jumping off points for our writing and we certainly can come up with at least 1000 words, good and probably not so good, or more stemming from our reaction to that inspiration. Many artists, too, find inspiration in the great works of literature or other powerful words. While I liked the idea of a challenge pitting words against pictures, it would be impossible to rule in favor of one over the other. All art has power to affect and inspire, in ways we seldom ever could realize.

Having recently fallen for the art of poetry, I think it a lovely combination of both words and pictures. Plutarch said:

Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks.

How perfect is his description? I find poems often evoke a stronger more immediate response, like seeing a painting in a museum might, than a longer work such as a novel might. I, of course, love a novel, but the elegance and power of a poem seem most like viewing a picture. Both seem to let the reader/viewer fill in what is left to imagine. What do they make you feel? It’s a beautiful thing.

What about you? Do you think a picture is worth a thousand words? Is that preposterous, words obviously win that war? Or does it just depend? What words and pictures do you think of that make you lean one way or the other?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments. 🙂

Have a great week!

~CJS

Why do you do what you do?

Who? What? When? Where? Why?

Early on in grade school we learned the importance of the 5 W’s and how to apply them in our story telling. Twenty years later and I still use a 5 W’s quick outline for all of my stories. I find it helps me focus when I get lost in the chaos of a novel.

I am sitting here listening to the torrential rain pummel my house and beat up my herb garden, I find myself asking a multitude of questions starting with Why? 

Why do I keep leaving my posts until the last minute, where unforeseen circumstances always threaten to delay my words?

Why do I torture myself on a weekly basis trying to come up with a topic to type out in the hopes that someone will like what I have to say?

Why didn’t I think to write that character’s point of view in a time line sequence instead of a diary?

Why do I think I can write something different enough that somebody will give two cents to what I have to say?

Then finally the big one, Why do I write?

These are the questions that have been rolling around in the back (front, side, other lobes) of my head all day.

That last question had me going back mentally in time to a post that Charli did a few weeks (months?) ago that I loved. As a writer we are always having to think about and figure out our branding. Almost as though we have to pimp out our words in the hopes that someone will like us enough to get noticed one day.

Maybe thinking of it as pimping out is a bad choice of words.

See! Branding is stressful, now I will be known as the writer who considers what she does as pimping.

Branding is a big part of what we have to do, being a writer is not just about writing. (Ha, that is what Amanda just said in her last post!) One thinks that writing is the perfect career choice for a hermit/recluse. And that is still the case… as long as you do not care if anyone reads your work. As in ever.

A writer has to not only imagine the story, write the words, edit the words, re-edit the words, but then sale the words. By doing so, one must brand themselves.

Seems easy. Let’s see how I do…

Who am I? AJ Prince, a writer

What am I? Human… Ha! ok seriously, What do I write? Realistic fiction, contemporary fiction, family; YA (Young Adult)/NA (New Adult)

When do I write? Always, when I am not physically writing, I am thinking about writing/ story lines/ plot lines. Or When did I become a writer? When I learned to spell. 🙂

Where do I write? In the U.S., but never at a desk.

Why do I write? ………………………………….

No one wants to hear “Because I have to.” or “Because the voices talk to me.” or “It’s just a part of who I am.”, because yeah, you and every other writer in the world. To answer the Why, you need to dig deeper than that. Remember, you are branding yourself, trying to stand out in the pool of words/authors.

You have to think of the Why as in a motivation term. Why is your story any different from the next person’s? Why should I spend my time/money reading your book? Why are you special?

So why do I write? Because I have something to say. In this infinite sea of writers, I am the only me and the only person who can tell my characters stories the way that they need to be told. They are as real to me as you are to me, maybe more so because I can see what they look like in my head where as I only know what a handful of you look like on the other side of this screen.

Now here’s the hard question, Why do YOU write? If you aren’t a writer, why do you do what you do? Let me know in the comments below.  

Till next time,

AJP

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