I love words.
A well-crafted sentence is like music to my ears. Literally. When I write fiction, I will often sound out my sentences. I listen for the cadence – and spend untold time massaging strident notes until the words flow smooth, mixing and matching, rising and falling, like harmonious chords dancing across a page of well rehearsed sheet music.
I also keep a journal by my side, for the express purpose of capturing words.
I am an ardent reader. And when I run across a new word, or a sentence that is so beautifully stated, I must write it down in my journal, always notating the book’s title, author, and page number of the quote.
“Ponytail spoke eagerly, his words racing out like children released for recess.” p. 18, Deja Dead, by Kathy Reichs.
“Sleep is a malevolent force. It lurks around the edges of my bed like a sick dog, its bad breath hanging on the night air.” p. 68, The Well, by Catherine Chanter.
asseverate = “uh-sev-uh-reyt, verb, to declare earnestly or solemnly; affirm positively.” The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James.
I am reminded of a college class I took as an undergrad, half a lifetime ago. It was called, Origin of Words. We spent the semester analyzing modern English words by breaking them into pieces, identifying traces of Latin or Greek roots, discovering ancient definitions and how they changed or metamorphosed through time. After all these years, I still find this a fascinating subject.
And I am glad to note that I’m not alone.
In celebration of our beautiful language, here’s a gift from the Internet ether. Its author is unknown but – I must assume – is a fellow logophile (lover of words).