Words, words, words

I love words.

My teammate told me that when she was young, she loved words so much that she used to read a dictionary. The other person I know who also read dictionary is DCB. He’s the one who introduced me to this word: swimmingly. To make it even more impressive, he used the word in our professional emails–you know how work emails are usually boring.

I’m not sure if myself was crazy about words too when I was a kid. Probably I was but don’t remember. But not when I grow up, not until now.

Delirious, delirium–new words I learn recently from reading Gabriel García Márquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera (translated by Edith Grossman). There are also illicit (illicit love), clandestine (“a clandestine life shared with a man who was never completely hers”). Learning English as a second language, I found the novel so rich in words that I manage to progress the book slowly. I usually read fast, but I need to learn new words for my new career so I indulged in every single word written. And the novel is worth the indulgence. I’m treating the novel like a sacred textbook about words–for this week reading.

Erogenous zones, adventurism, and orgasmic delight, these words from Meston and Russ’s Why Women Have Sex are not new as I’ve come across them somewhere before, but it’s good to take note of them again when hunting for words to put into my stock. Besides, I like those words. They are sexy.

I’ve just got to know this new magazine–Lodestars Anthology. Its Sweden vol.5 is so poetic that it contains words such as beguile, sunbeam, and ensnare, and has phrases like “the past appear honeyed and mellowed”, “profanities rolling off my tongue”, “the ice outwitted the dark”, and “united by fascination and awe”. It also introduces me to two Swedish words that it claims has no foreign counterpart: gökotta. Gökotta, it says, means waking with the sun to hear the day’s first birdsong, while mångata is “the reflected path the moon creates on water”. It says that the latter word is “achingly Scandinavian”.

Monocle‘s June 2015 volume teaches me of “mince someone’s word”, “walk a fine line”, “loom large over something”, and that someone is “a breath of fresh air”.

All in all, I wonder how words I’ve learned from reading novels and poetry vigorously for all my life are going to help me much in my new career. My writing tends to be wordy, not “short and sweet” (the words my teammates like to use). Copywriting seems to require a totally new set of vocabularies. This is a new adventure. I’ve discovered that reading Monocle is the most helpful. Monocle’s language is full of slang and idioms and has a conversational tone. Delirious, beguile, ensnare,… Useless! They seem out of place here.

Anyway, a book about copywriting has given me a very good advice and a compromising way out. It says to those copywriting novices that “you can always indulge in your literary muse by the lamplight when your day’s work is done”! Thanks very much. The advice is noted.

[Participated in today’s Daily Prompt: obsessed]

 

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