Thursday, March 16, 2017
We may forget that there is more to the word fell than simply being the past tense of fall. In the English language, there are many uses of this word as a verb, noun, or adjective. Here a few.
Definition: v.t. an action that causes something to fall; idiom used to describe a single completely effective action; adj. cruel, fierce, vicious
Example: When we fell the false and unnatural boundaries built on greed, fear, religion, and politics we may live in a world driven by compassion, affection, love, and respect.
Synonyms: drop, cut, shoot, slash, efficacious, exact, productive, devastating
Antonyms: raise, lift, construct, ineffective, aimless, superficial, endless
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
(ef ’ i · kā ’ shəs)
Definition: capable of producing a desired effect
Example: Reading her old résumés had an efficacious effect on Angela’s level of self-confidence, as she was reminded of accomplishments she had long forgotten.
Synonyms: capable, effective, competent, influential, useful
Antonyms: incapable, useless, weak, unsuccessful, impotent
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
(sûr’ tə · tüd)
Definition: certainty; freedom from doubt; absolute confidence
Example: Self doubt and thoughts of limitation are the only things that hold us back. With certitude in self, universal consciousness, and the law of attraction, all things are possible.
Synonyms: faith, belief, confidence, conviction, certainty, inevitability
Antonyms: doubt, uncertainty, disbelief, distrust
Monday, March 13, 2017
(kən · jēn’ yəl)
Definition: compatible with one’s disposition, needs, interests, etc.
Example: Their common interests and similar attitudes were the basis of an enduring congenial friendship.
Synonyms: harmonious, kindred, compatible, agreeable, friendly, sympathetic, amiable
Antonyms: discordant, disagreeable, ill-suited, incompatible, aloof, unfriendly, unpleasant
Saturday, March 11, 2017
Definition: gracefully slender
Example: Theresa’s commitment to a healthy diet and moderate exercise had manifested the gracile figure of which Arthur, having laid eyes on her for the first time, found himself absorbed in awe and admiration.
Synonyms: svelte, lanky, lithe, slim, delicate, frail, fragile, meager
Antonyms: large, chubby, fat, big, heavy, strong, unbreakable
Friday, March 10, 2017
(un’ i · kwiv’ ə · kəl)
The word I chose for today is inspired by a friend who is celebrating the anniversary of the day he received a very clear message about unconditional love, or one might call it unequivocal love.
Definition: not limited by conditions; allowing no room for doubt or misinterpretation
Example: That spring morning, Gene passed the reverse image of a flag which seemed to display a word he did not understand. “Evol? What does that mean?” As he realized he was seeing the reverse image of the intended word, love, he received a message that has lived with him these thirteen years. That message was that we should EVOLve into unequivocal love. He was told that we are not expected to have the ability to immediately feel and express this level of love at all times. All that is asked of us is that we strive, each day, to be better at it than we were yesterday.
Synonyms: unconditional, absolute, undeniable, indisputable, unambivalent, unmistakeable
Antonyms: conditional, questionable, dubious, vague, indefinite
Thursday, March 9, 2017
(hĕd’ n · is’ tik)
Definition: relating to the pursuit of pleasure and/or self-indulgence
Example: “Finding enough energy to maintain that state of love certainly helps the world, but it most directly helps us. It is the most hedonistic thing we can do.” James Redfield
Synonyms: decadent, luxurious, indulgent, self-indulgent
Antonyms: self-sacrificing, prudish, self-denying
The Celestine Prophecy, Warner Books, Time Warner Book Company, Copyright © 1993 by James Redfield, page 116,
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
(sər · kəm · lō ’ kyü · shən)
Definition: the use of more words than necessary to express an idea; evasive speech
Example: The author’s tendency towards circumlocution made his theories difficult to assimilate. Of course, infrequently used words such as circumlocution would also make it difficult for most of us to understand his ideas.
Another Example: We sometimes resort to fluffy circumlocution, rather than speaking our truth, in an effort to avoid hurting a person’s feelings.
Synonyms: wordiness, verbiage, redundancy, verbosity, roundabout, indirectness, equivocation
Antonyms: conciseness, brevity, concision, directness, straightforwardness, candor, frankness, forthrightness
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
(tem’ ə · râ’ ē · əs)
Definition: unreasonably adventurous; rash; reckless
Example: My less than temerarious nature caused me to cringe as the thought of jumping out of an airplane randomly entered my mind last night.
Synonyms: bold, daring, foolhardy, heedless, fearless, venturesome
Antonyms: careful, cautious, safe, wary, guarded, bashful, shy
When writing about people and not wanting to be gender specific, have you ever felt torn between which personal pronouns you should use? Should I go with he, him, and his, or she and her? Sometimes we awkwardly go with he or she, him or her, and his or her. In my experience, when this occurs over and over again throughout a book, I feel an interruption in the flow of the story or the book’s message. In our desperation of being politically correct, we sometimes resort to improper usage of the pronouns them and their. This practice also feels awkward to me. Some authors will give up on the use of pronouns altogether and fill their paragraphs with such phrases as “one thinks” and “one’s thoughts”. This can come across as very impersonal, possibly causing a loss of connection between these authors and their readers.
As an editor, I struggle with this dilemma myself. When non-specific pronouns have been necessary in an author’s work, I’ve found that switching back and forth between the different options sometimes creates the best flow in a manuscript. We can continue to work around this awkward characteristic of the English language; or we can consciously allow our language to evolve. Not only is this change needed to create better flow in our written works, I propose that as our culture is evolving so should our language.
Have you ever seen someone and been unable to determine whether the person is male or female? Some people are simply born with a seemingly equal balance of both male and feminine characteristics and energies. Recently, I found myself in the awkward position of not knowing whether to identify a new acquaintance as him or her. I could not tell which pronoun was befitting and I was concerned about offending this person. In this particular case, the individual was making a transition from one gender to the other; and I didn’t know which was which. There are others who identify with no particular gender. For some people, gender is simply not an important issue; and we quite possibly could be evolving into a society that places little importance on gender.
I would like to see us create respectful, non-gender specific, singular pronouns in order to solve this dilemma and create better flow in our manuscripts and our conversations. As a very feminine heterosexual woman, I would not be so presumptuous as to suggest pronouns that might lead to this evolution in the English language. Since I have no clue what possible pronouns might be regarded as respectful, I’m interested in the opinion of representatives from the LGBT community.