The ways words are written

Reading is a writer’s handbook, for the ways words are written are the ways the writer can write, templates for pieces, spices for the writing life. Then one knows the ways of writing that can be done, but one settles in to one’s style, and then their work is done.

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What’s in this word is better not said–but here I go

Ordure is among the most deceptive words I have encountered. To me, ordure sounds eloquent, refined, as if I have come upon a wonderful apartment that is more statuesque than most. It has that “ordure” look to it. But ordure’s meaning is far from it. Ordure means dung, the stuff used as fertilizer to improve soil quality. It’s no common word, then.

Two stand out words

The words stalactites and stalagmites sounds like another job for google search, I couldn’t figure them out, as my eyes gazed off the page and into space.

An internet search does come up with the exact definition which made complete sense as a google search does.

The words are related to science, describing something in the natural world. For words sounding so unnatural they stood out on the page. I won’t forget those ones.

Repudiate

The word repudiate means to deny, refuse to recognize.

On the news, repudiating often comes in the context of politics and goes like this.

A politician is on the defensive when asked about some controversial matter. “I repudiate that!” the politician says. No, it’s more like, “No comment” or “I deny that.”

The media seems to love politicians using repudiate in terms of “I deny that” or “I refute that”. But no politician actually says “I repudiate that!”. It is too much of a mouth full.

Why is repudiate even in the English language if most people refuse to use it? I think repudiate is mainly used by lawyers in their defense of a client. “He repudiates that!”

But there was a guy I saw on television who used it when being asked by a reporter, “Do you accept the charges against you?”

He said quietly, “I repudiate the charges.”

His comment went viral. Repudiate became a sensation for fifteen minutes. Its fifteen minutes of fame. That’s because hardly no one used the word, but he did.

I guess people still love that underused word very much. Repudiate has that exotic appeal in the right context.

 

 

 

Half-finished

At the end of this week I read less of Dante’s Inferno and am listening to music. Inferno is still on my radar to finish because I just want to. I don’t like to say that I finished the book half-way through. That’s not even finishing it. If I stopped reading it, I would become a statistic, the half finishes statistic. Following through on reading the book is a must, but at my leisure.

On!

Inspiration:

‘Whoever, fameless, wastes his life away,

Leaves of himself no greater mark on earth

Than smoke in air or froth upon the wave.

So, upwards! On! And vanquish labored breath!

In any battle mind power will prevail,

Unless the weight of body loads it down.

There’s yet a longer ladder you must scale.

You can’t just turn and leave all these behind.

You understand? Well, make my words avail.’

[Inferno, Dante Alighieri, Canto 24:49-57, translated by Robin Kirkpatrick, Penguin Classics]