W is for “Word-Girl Wages War on Wasted Words”

From her arsenal, Word-Girl Person* draws an eraser and prepares for battle against the dreaded Redundants.  Helping her is her sidekick, Bob, from the realm of  Palindrome, who performs a diversionary tactic, which is easy to do since his adversary does not know if he’s coming or going.  The Webster’s Dictionary as her shield,  WG boldly confronts her foe and in one stroke of her eraser eradicates the offender. The rest of the Redundants turn tail, beaten once again, but always they lie in wait for a chance to spring again on the unsuspecting writer…

I’ve been reading All About Words-an adult approach to vocabulary building.  My copy, dated 1966, byMaxwell Nurberg and Morris Rosenblum lays out a brilliant tactic for building your arsenal of words. Sadly, the little book  sat for many years on my bookshelf shoved in between To Kill a Mockingbird and  Moby Dick, but was rediscovered and now has a proper place between my Roget’s Thesaurus and Webster’s Dictionary.  It has stood the test of time; some of the earlier editions are offered online (expensive for first editions.) Or  choose an affordable  paperback.

On page 74 (of my edition) I learned that palindrome (comes from the Greek “palin” which means back and “drom” run) reads the same forward and backward: Bob, Ava and my husband’s favorite Yreka Bakery; or  the sentence Madam, I’m Adam (has to be the first palindrome ever uttered.) Someone with much time on their hands can go on to construct whole sentences that can be reversed.  One of the most famous that I recall  is Able was I ere I saw Elba.

The authors discuss prefixes and suffixes which gives a better understanding of words and meanings while helping you remember them. (Also is a great help playing Scrabble.)

I will never become a walking encyclopedia.  The fact of the matter is I forget plenty of words.  I wrote of this before, and I’m trying not to be obsessed about it.  Sometime it is difficult to find the exact word I need in writing, such as the one I blogged about  in my last post (V is for Violation.)  We writers can be more than a little hard on ourselves.  I think most of the time, I am my harshest critic…wanting everything perfect before I hit publish. I’ve also learned that spell check is not my best friend  (only slightly helpful), that when in doubt do a little search on my own.

I’ve also learned perfect will not be reached…ever…but the road-trip (gaining new friends and insights along the way) is a wondrous thing.  The quest for me, and perhaps other writers as well, is just to write, to be understood, to reach some like-minded soul.

So boldly, with eraser in hand I write on.

*The reason for the change is explained here.

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5 thoughts on “W is for “Word-Girl Wages War on Wasted Words”

  1. Ah, yes! Eraser in hand we writers go on and on. Then wipe out half of it because it doesn’t sound quite right. then wish we hadn’t because once we’ve said it in a different way, the first way sounded better after all. Perhaps our quest for written perfection just a quirky form of OCD?

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