Mark Terry

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Thoughts On Language

January 13, 2010
As writers, in theory, we should be attuned to the nuances of language. We should, hopefully, understand that some words that are often used in the same way, do not necessarily have the same meaning, especially to different audiences. Advertising, to my mind, has practically attempted to destroy the English language with the way it manipulates the language (that and the world of so-called sports journalism and marketing, and business, in that they have both co-opted military language to describe themselves, diminishing the meaning and impact of words like "war" and "destruction" and "devastation" and...).

So I give you a few examples of words, for which I do not necessarily know the difference, except to know that I SHOULD know the difference and need to educate myself on it. Feel free to provide your own, and if you're so inclined, to offer explanations of the differences.

"Love" is not the same thing as "romance."

"Strategic" is not the same thing as "tactical."

"Jealousy" is not the same thing as "envy."

"Tall" is not necessarily the same thing as "willowy."

"Confusion" is not necessarily the same thing as "disoriented."

I also offer up one more thought, in terms of language. As writers, we should be aware, perhaps only subliminally, that the use of words, and even the SOUND of words, creates certain feelings and connections in the mind of readers.

Mellifluous.

Craggy.

Jagged.

Susurrus.

Blue. Aqua. Cerulean. Sapphire.

Thoughts?

2 Comments:

Blogger Eric said...

Funny how everything these days is a war isn't it?

When I was into orienteering it was always said that you never got "lost" but only "disoriented."

3:48 PM  
Blogger Jude Hardin said...

I often find myself searching for the right word these days. I'm...what's it called?

8:03 PM  

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