A Way With Words: Lexicon

A Way With Words: Lexicon
December 1, 2015 No Comments » Writing Tara R

I am of an age, having passed through my first half century of life, that I don’t particularly like discussing my age. For the last several years, when either of my parents call me on my birthday, I make some lame excuse about “not getting older, just catching up.”

Despite efforts to stay young at heart, one of the ways my advancing dotage shows itself, is when I say something and immediately I hear my mother’s voice. Word usage for Mature Adults is nothing like that of our Millennial Adult children.

My computer bookmarks include a link to Urban Dictionary just so I can decipher texts from my son. Unfortunately, the same reference resource is useless to him when trying to understand me.

It is as if once you reach a certain milestone, your lexicon digresses to a different era. I catch myself using words that can be described as arcane.

Old Lady words like:

  • Affront
  • Ague
  • Alas
  • Asunder
  • Bane
  • Beholden
  • Egad
  • Eke
  • Gadzooks
  • Hooligan
  • Mayhap
  • Nary
  • Shenanigans
  • Smite
  • Swain
  • Twixt
  • Yikes

Words are important. They are indicators of age, cultural and ethnical origin, religion, gender, and educational and economic status. Anything and everything about a character can be revealed in what they say, and how they say it.

Dialogue, to be believable, should match the characteristics of your character. Do some research on jargon used by teenagers and young adults, key into the patois of immigrants or religious groups, listen to how your own parents and grandparents speak. Take notes when watching television or reading the paper.

Words, language, are important.

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Tara R Tara Roberts (pronounced Tar-ah and with a southern drawl) lives and plays on the Florida Gulf Coast. A former print news and online media reporter, she now spends her days roaming the woods and beaches of the Panhandle talking to herself, penning eclectic fiction, and taking photographs. She can be found most days at “Thin spiral notebook” trying to quiet the voices in her head.

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