Thursday, December 18, 2008

New Words, New Inspiration

"The limits of my language are the limits of my mind. All I know is what I have words for." - Ludwig Wittgenstein

I’d like to expand my mind so logic would say I need to learn more words, at least according to this quote by Mr. Wittgenstein. Thanks to my Author 101 Newsletter from Rick Frishman I’ve added two new words to my vocabulary this week.

Did you know that the space between your eyebrows is called the glabella? Or, that the flab on your elbow is called the wenis? I didn’t either.

I have to admit I could find verification for glabella in my Random House Unabridged Dictionary. But the only place I could find a definition of wenis other than the Newsletter was at . And they refer to wenis as the skin around the elbow instead of flab. Maybe that depends on the elbow.

The new words had me wondering how I could work them into my next novel or short story. Possibly I could begin a tale with – “She furrowed her brows so intensely that her glabella looked like a legless caterpillar resting between her eyes.”

Or maybe – “The young girl, hesitant to board the bus for her first day at school, trudged up the steps and settled herself by a window. Her mother waved so enthusiastically that her wenis became a blur.”

I find little things, such as learning a new word, inspiration to write. What inspires you?
Do you have any favorite little known words you’re willing to share? Or, how would you use the words glabella or wenis?

Thanks for stopping by.

Tags: Wittgenstein, Frishman, glabella, wenis , Random House, onelook,


Morgan Mandel said...

Actually, you're better off using words people can understand anyway. Most readers don't want to have to look up a lot of words to get their meaning when they read. They just want to enjoy the book.

Morgan Mandel

Bernard J Rossi said...

Jane, I used to do a thing a while we called word of the day. My partner (now wife) would send me via email a word that she had just discovered and by the end of the day I would write a poem including that word (sometimes I had a late night!). Often I would find another new word to include in the poem as well as an added treat for her.

It was great way to learn and to exercise the mind and one or two of the poems have been shortlisted for awards and one appeared in "The who's who of poetry" in 2007.

I will look a few up and send them your way and I'll post some of the more interesting poems on my website for interested readers of yours to have a look at.

Have a terrific Christmas and 2009

Bernard J Rossi
Author & Poet

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Morgan, you are right and I am one of those people! I love new words except when I am in the middle of a book I don't want to put down for any reason, much less to look up a word.

Bernard, what a terrific and romantic idea. And, congratualtions on your awards!Your novel, Room 22, looks really interesting. After the holidays, when I have a little more time, I will revisit your web page and check out some more of your poetry.

Thank you both for stopping by and for your comments.

Jane's Ride - Novelist Jane Kennedy Sutton's journey through the ups and downs of the writing, publishing and marketing world