It is the tiny items that usually get overlooked.
Writers really feel they have to struggle to uncover the ideal word, nearly as if the struggle itself somehow tends to make the discovery valid. But support is at hand, and it really is a lot closer than you consider.
I am speaking about reference books, and dictionaries in distinct. No matter how you go about the organization of writing, reference supplies are usually crucial. They are aspect of each writer’s toolkit, like a carpenter’s hammer and saw. And just like a carpenter, a writer can use these tools to construct a strong piece of prose, a brief story, a poem, an short article, a book or some internet copy.
Dictionaries have been aspect of the writer’s palette because Dr. Samuel Johnson made A Dictionary of the English Language way back in the 1750s. Browse the reference section of any library or bookstore and you will uncover dictionaries covering a host of subjects: languages, medicine, dreams, fictional characters, scrabble, finance, and so forth. And then there are rhyming dictionaries, multilingual dictionaries, legal dictionaries, dictionaries of symbols, cultural literacy, biblical imagery, philosophy and so on.
Most mainstream dictionaries have on line presences these days, so it really is achievable to access them with out even reaching across to your bookcase. There are a couple of a lot more exotic dictionaries out there, as well, such as Ambrose Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary – a fascinating tongue-in-cheek twist on the notion with some scathing definitions, like:
Wit, n. The salt with which the American humorist spoils his intellectual cookery by leaving it out.
Variations come in all shapes and sizes, with titles like Who’s Who in Shakespeare (or Dickens), collections of this or that, and volumes named A Dictionary of the 20th Century, for instance. Of course, these lazy writers amongst us will need only bookmark the website at Dictionary.com and/or Thesaurus.com to have every little thing at hand. But there is a thing about flipping via a book and landing on a web page — specifically a single with new words on it — that can not be equalled.
I have a copy of The New International Webster’s Complete Dictionary. It is a huge tome, nicely bound with gilt-edged pages. I opened it at random and discovered this entry:
gyve, n. A fetter for the limbs of prisoners.
Pronounced jive, here’s a word I’d by no means heard prior to. Will I use it anyplace else? I am not positive. But it conjures up a bunch of photos. Like a group of convicts, gyve speaking. It is expanding my vocabulary and providing me story concepts at the very same time. And that is just a single word on a single web page.