Word Wear

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016 01:00 pm
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
I think I need to get this cartoon on a t-shirt, so I can wear it to next 4th Street.

ETA: Though I'm not sure it doesn't need a comma between "Yes" and "well". Opinions?

lizvogel: lizvogel's fandoms.  The short list. (Fandom Epilepsy)
I had occasion today to look up the word "syntonics", which apparently has to do with "emotional responsiveness to the environment." Cool.

Now, I'm currently de-bracketing ...And The Kitchen Sink. Which means I'm looking up a lot of words to find a more alliterative or less repetitious way to say something, but I'm also occasionally trying to look up the word for a concept that I know there has to be a word for. And often as not, I'm not having a lot of luck with that latter.

Which is not surprising, because if you Google "emotional responsiveness to the environment" or even "word for emotional responsiveness to the environment", one thing you won't see in your search results in "syntonics". Emotion, yes; emotional responsiveness of certain population groups, yes; even the emotional impact of nice furniture. But not the one word that embodies the concept, which is what as a writer I'm generally looking for.

That is why a thesaurus, while an invaluable tool, is also sometimes frustrating. And that is why the Internet, while a fine thing, is no substitute for knowing stuff.

Fashion Statement

Thursday, February 21st, 2013 06:17 pm
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
There must be a word for that... and one of you probably knows it.

I need a word for a particular type of shoe. This would be a shoe that goes with an afternoon tea frock, worn by a character my alpha reader describes as "looks like Jessica Fletcher, fights like Emma Peel." It absolutely must be a shoe proper to the circumstances (afternoon tea in a private home, on the good china); it need not, and indeed should not, be a shoe subject to the vagaries of High Fashion. Stylish, yes; "fashionable", no.

This word, should you provide it, will be used in the following context: She bent to pull the mask from his face; he made to struggle a bit at that, but her []-clad heel on his sternum convinced him otherwise.

lizvogel: lizvogel's fandoms.  The short list. (Fandom Epilepsy)
I have for some time been wishing for a Dreamwidth comm called "there's a word for that", where writers could babble about all the almost-but-not-quite-right words they've thought of and the giant brain of the Internet would tell them the word they actually want.

Turns out there's a theremustbeawordforit tag at [livejournal.com profile] linguaphiles. It's mostly used for "What's this word in some other language" questions or specific linguistic terminology, but there are posts trying to find just the right word in English, too. Because the other thing about the giant Internet brain is that whatever you're thinking of, it's already thought of it.
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
(To be crossposted to LJ, if it ever comes back up reliably.)

Gacked from synecdochic, I got an embarrassingly low estimated vocabulary on the Test Your Vocab quiz. 36,500 words. Better than the majority of native-English adults, but I still feel the need to spend some serious quality time with a dictionary.

On the other hand, I knew 44% of the hardest words on the test, and could doubtless make a fair guess at the rest of them in context. So at least I can fake being well educated.

(Note to self: adumbrate (to intimate, foreshadow, or give a sketchy outline of) is an awesome word, and I need to use it more.)

And yet, I still manage to use words so obscure that my beta readers don't even think they're words, and assume I must have made an impenetrable typo. Sigh.




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