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Etymology?

04 Mar

We had some great comments this week.  Check them out here.  But, this week’s favorite quote was once again from Ellen:

 My colleagues seem to think i invented the word e-introduce: to introduce two people in an email.

Of the words we mispronounced as children, pantytoes (pantyhose) and umblaga (umbrella) have remained in our common parlance. As is “to bellow” which means to wait impatiently by the door of your home and yell for the people who are late.

I also like splendiferous and a wide range of spanglish words.

I’m one of those people who does crosswords in pencil. Daring, I know. The truth is that I’m just not that confident in my handling of words. It is one of my weaknesses as a writer. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate words. I try to be like a sponge and soak in as many as I can. But, I find I often focus on the sound of the word rather than the meaning. The word “publish” sounds like a whisper (or maybe that is my reverence for the word. See my About this Blog post). “Polka dot,” sounds like you’re drawing one. The unique sounds of “funk,” “hiss,” “scruff,” “hiccup,” and “tiptoe” all stir up images in my mind. That is what I like in my words. There are times in my writing, however, when a real word just isn’t good enough. I could’ve said, “My husband let out a snore,” but I don’t think it has the same effect. It doesn’t paint the same picture as og-fiff. When I read that word, I can picture his nostrils flaring and his lips parting just barely. I’ve read that all writers have big egos. Maybe it is my ego that makes me think my word is better than a real word. But, every word has its etymology. Why can’t one begin with me?

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3 Comments

Posted by on March 4, 2011 in Word Choice

 

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3 responses to “Etymology?

  1. Tom Pierce

    March 6, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Koinonia – I didn’t invent it, but its a great word. we do a local radio talk show here and we call it Koinonia. Its about what we as “the church” are doing for this community and the people here.
    This Greek word technically means communion, but my favorite definition of the word is the idealised state of fellowship and community that should exist. (from dictionary.com)

     
    • cocoanqueso

      March 7, 2011 at 9:45 am

      What a beautiful word with a beautiful meaning. I like how that one feels in my mouth too. Thanks for sharing!

       

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