Thursday, April 17, 2008

Booking It With The Dictionary

“Words -- so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.” - Nathaniel Hawthorne



I’ve always wondered what other people do when they come across a word/phrase that they’ve never heard before. I mean, do they jot it down on paper so they can look it up later, or do they stop reading to look it up on the dictionary/google it or do they just continue reading and forget about the word?

If the definition of the word can't be inferred by the use, then I'll usually stop and look it up immediately.

That said, as an author, I try not to use too many $100 words for just that reason. You don't WANT to have your reader stop reading your story for any reason. My job as a romance author is not to educate the reader (though, at least in the case of my vintage work, I imagine I do to a certain extent), but to entertain.

Thankfully, because of all the reading I do and have done I have a decent-sized vocabulary so I don't have to stop very often.

You?

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There are still two weeks worth of daily book giveaway's over at the Long and the Short of It's reviews blog. So far, sixteen people have won free books! Wouldn't you like to be one of them?

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Dru, writing is not coming along well. The website is sucking all my time. **SIGH**. I did finish the article and will submit it today. Yay! At least that's something.

Thanks for asking :-)

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So...

Dakota flunked yesterday's quiz in her doggy obedience class. Color me frustrated. She did it fine at home, even with distractions (she's supposed to have learned "look" or "watch me" -- to maintain eye contact with you for ten seconds). In the class? I couldn't even get her attention at all. Not AT ALL. Not for one second. The teacher even gave me hot dogs (which gave her the runs later in the day -- so, I've learned). There is a little 12-week-old pug puppy in there who is, by far, the best dog we have. She listens, she obeys, she doesn't get distracted... and she's only 12 weeks! Puts the older dogs to shame.

**sigh**

This week we're supposed to work on loose-leash walking. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

Actually, I've been taking Dakota out on my bike and running her to work off some of her crazy energy, and it seems to work. So, maybe I'll run her up and down the street first and THEN work on her leash training. Of course, she needs to be able to obey, even when she's keyed up, but it's a start.

I have a feeling we're going to be repeating the class. For a smart dog, she's awfully resistant to learning.

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The Keys to Your Life



Anything good in your life comes from boldly confronting the darkness.

Illusions are dangerous, and you benefit from seeing the world as it truly is.

Anything bad in your life comes from sinking to the level of those around you.

Remember to lift people up, and refuse to participate in anything petty.

12 comments:

writer2b said...

Good point about not using too many expensive words! I think I'd like reading your books.

groovyoldlady said...

Homeschooling brain always looks words up immediately. Sometimes the same brain gets distracted and looks up an accompanying encyclopedia article. It's very distracting, but I just CAN'T go on if I don't know what the word means!

It dawned on me today that you need to change your blog title to "Romance Author" 'cause you is one!

Diane Craver said...

I look up the words if I don't know their meaning. I avoid using too many words readers might have to look up - I want to provide an entertaining read and not interested in improving their vocabulary. LOL

Dru said...

I will look up the word because I have to know and will read all the definitions for said word. I will also check out the thesaurus. Words expand your mind.

Sorry that the writing isn't coming along. Good luck with the article submission.

Bummer about Dakota's class. Do you think it could be the other dogs in the class that Dakota's didn't perform well?

The Keys to Your Life

Anything good in your life comes from your ability to play and be free.

The best way for you to solve a problem is to let go of it.

Anything bad in your life comes from fooling yourself or clinging to illusions.

Be strong enough to see the world clearly. Learn from your mistakes.


Have a good Thursday.

Melissa said...

Aw, poor Dakota. She's just an independent girl. I have a feeling Chaos might be very similar!

Tori Lennox said...

If I can't figure out the meaning from the context, I usually hop up and check the dictionary.

I don't usually use too many $100 words. But I have to really rein myself in to keep from giving history lessons in my more historical stuff. I have a bad habit of falling into the "see how much research I did!" syndrome. *g*

The Keys to Your Life

Anything good in your life comes from boldly confronting the darkness.

Illusions are dangerous, and you benefit from seeing the world as it truly is.

Anything bad in your life comes from sinking to the level of those around you.

Remember to lift people up, and refuse to participate in anything petty.

Table Talk said...

I think it's an interesting observation about the use of unexpected words. If an author uses too many I do begin to question their motive and ask who their intended reader was. Thanks for the thought.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I like clear writing, which means you need to gauge your audience. It's a very elite audience that needs lots of mega-money words.

Brandy said...

If I wanted to read words that I don't understand I'd read a historical treatise. I enjoy reading and if I come across a word I don't know and can't infer the definition to then yes, I will look it up.

Poor Dakota. Do you think the other doggies are distracting her? Maybe she's just so happy to be around other doggies she's not paying enough attention to you.

Sorry to hear the writing isn't going well. I hope it improves soon.

As for your quiz today:"Anything good in your life comes from boldly confronting the darkness.

Illusions are dangerous, and you benefit from seeing the world as it truly is.

Anything bad in your life comes from sinking to the level of those around you.

Remember to lift people up, and refuse to participate in anything petty."

I hope you have a lovely day and that the sun brings warmth to you!

anno said...

I'm with Melissa: Dakota just sounds independent... kind of a Kate Hepburn type. I bet you'll have lots of fun together!

As for words I don't understand: I just blip right over them! And if there are too many of them, I probably return the book unfinished.

Lesley said...

I find it happening less and less, the older I get!
But if I do come across something unknown that can't be guessed at, I look it up immediately, unless I'm reading in bed.

gautami tripathy said...

As I write poetry, I use simpler words. I don't want the reader to run away from me.

Here is my BTT post!