(Yes, that is something in itself- but please (bear or is it bare?) with me.
I am constantly trying to use different adjectives. To use the same words again and again to describe things would make for a boring story- or worse. That is, if I can't think of different adjectives, it makes me out to be a very weak writer.
Reading a phone book is notoriously boring. But what about reading a dictionary? In order to find new words that say the same thing, I have a little book that gives me different meanings for words. Therefore, I can look up 'dirt'. Let's say I want to appear to be smarter than I am, and certainly more creative. I can use the word 'soil'. Now doesn't this make me sound more intelligent?
Ok, I am getting to the point here very soon.
How we express ourselves in writing- be it a script, novel, note to our boss or colleagues can be a 'tell' regarding one's sophistication, or even one's intelligence. This is not always fair, as someone may not write like a poet, but can add and subtract faster than a computer. Nevertheless, we all have to write something to someone eventually, and to be able to do it with correctness and style is a real plus.
Here is what I have been aware of for some time now. When I pick up a dictionary, and glance through it, I am amazed at what I see! This is not just about the pictures next to the words- but the words themselves. There are words that I know like- perfunctory, salacious, lurid and fulminate- to name only a few. I say I 'know' them, but really do not have a clue as to what they 'mean'. Not only this- there are words that I do use and VWALLAAH! I find that the words I use in my every day conversations are not what I thought they meant. How dumb is this? Perhaps the word 'dumb' is a little much- hopefully- but think about it.
How many words do we use in our speech and writings, but are not utilized properly? I dare say- lots of 'em. Yes, we all know what we mean, but strictly speaking, we are not speaking English. The conclusion is that most of us are speaking and writing 'American'.
'American' is a kind of sub-species of their original intention by definition- perhaps a type of dialect? The word 'dialect' may or not be appropriate here, but then again, here is another one for me to look up- ya'll.
So, here's the 'very soon' part of this entry. I would challenge each of you to do what has proven to be an interesting and important short-time, pasting-the-time endeavor as a fledgling writer. Take a moment of flip through your dictionary or computer and look up a familiar word. Read the true meaning of a few of them and I believe this whole blog post will come to life for you as well.
Reading a script in an audition, writing an entry in our Facebook page, blog, or a note on the refrigerator to our children should be written in English- not in 'American'. To know the true meaning of a word, and to use it correctly, will produce true communication. Isn't that what lines in a play and our written words are all about?
Come hither and give it a try. OH! don't get me started on proper punctuation. That is another lesson I am still trying to do curecktly!
Enjoy the ride.