Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ever lost for words?

Apparently there are more words in the English language than in any other. So how come you sometimes find yourself struggling to find a word to explain exactly how a character feels? I suppose the answer is in part because the English language has so many nuances; there are so many words to choose from to describe a feeling that when we can't find one that fits exactly, we're surprised. In French, where there are far fewer words, writers do not expect to be able summarise complex feelings with one word and construct whole sentences to get their point across.

Here's an example of what I mean. A while ago, I wrote a story in which one of my characters (a giant boy) discovers he is short sighted. When he looks at the letters on his eye test chart, they are all fuzzly. Not a 'real' word according to the OED but one that perfectly expressed to me, another myopia sufferer, how text appears from a distance when I haven't got my specs on.

So, imagine my delight to discover that I'm not alone in the pursuit of word creation and that alongside the standard British dictionary are a number of on-line dictionaries of words that people have made up to fill the gaps that they've found in the English language. One in particular caught my eye. It's called Pseudo dictionary and is full of hilarious and useful words. Here is the link: http://www.pseudodictionary.com/ . If you're struggling to find a word you might just find it here.

Meanwhile, I'm using fuzzly as often as I can in the hope that it might catch on and one day find it's way into the Oxford English Dictionary. If you'd like to use it too then feel free, have a word on me...............

No comments: