Thursday, 19 December 2013

2014 - the Year of the Creative Comment?

When I was at school, back in the Dark Ages, nobody talked about ‘creative writing’; back then it was called ‘composition’. And there two words that we were taught to avoid using in our compositions – ‘got’ and ‘nice’. 

Nowadays there are two different words that I think are over-used to such an extent that they've become virtually meaningless. Those words are ‘quirky’ and ‘awesome’ – and I might even add a third - ‘amazing’.

In themselves, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with those words but I think they are suffering from over-use and crowding out other words that would perhaps make our writing more interesting and sometimes more specific in meaning. 

We are lucky that our English language is one of the richest in the world.  So often we have the choice of several words of similar but ever-so-slightly different meaning, probably because we have adopted and adapted so many words from the languages of the various invaders who have occupied our islands throughout our history. 

Of course the ubiquitous ‘like’ or ‘favourite’ buttons mean that we don’t need to think about what we write and sometimes we’re in such a rush that these twenty-first century innovations are invaluable. 

But I would hate to see our language descend into a kind of ‘tick-the-box’ form of communication; it would be such a waste of all those lovely words we have at our disposal!

Take, for instance, ‘galumptious’. I discovered that Roald Dahl uses it - as well as the electrician who was working on my house and used the word to describe one of my friends! 

Although the Merriam Webster dictionary doesn’t list it, I found a definition:

adj. - tiptop; first-rate; superlatively good

Merriam Webster does, however, have a definition for another of my favourites, splendiferous – 

:  extraordinarily or showily impressive
— splen·dif·er·ous·ly adverb
— splen·dif·er·ous·ness noun

But we don’t need to use an esoteric dictionary like this one to make our comments more meaningful. Here are some alternatives from an online thesaurus that could be useful, most of them fairly common words:

And here's an interesting one that I came across on twitter - 'bodacious'!
A blend of 'bold' and 'audacious', here's a definition.

So next year I’m going to resolve to restore some of the colour to my comments by broadening my vocabulary - even if it occasionally means resurrecting some of our wonderfully expressive words that have fallen into neglect. It’s all part of being creative!

Who's going to join me?


Boriana Giormova said...

Terrific post Judy, I loved it! :)

Judy Adamson said...

Thank you so much, Boriana - glad you enjoyed it! :)

Lesley Todd said...

Galumptious post, Judy! I will try to use some of these. Thanks!

Judy Adamson said...

Thank you, Lesley - that'll be splendiferous! :)

Di said...

A magnificently Galumptious post, Judy! I will do my best to be bodacious with my writing in 2014!

Judy Adamson said...

Thank you,Di :)