Thursday, April 23

Use Your Words

I would rate my ability to speak and understand the English language as 'moderately high' to 'high.' And even then, I'm sometimes stunted by my vocabulary. Words are the best way to describe something, a feeling, a moment, but my words don't seem to do justice.

I've just finished reading 'The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.' Edgar is a young boy born mute. He is obsessed with the dictionary. He loves words and their sounds and meanings. He revels in naming the puppies on the farm, trying to find the exact and perfect word. He succeeds where I fail. And he is fictional. Of course, the author of Edgar's story is magical. He weaves a story of beauty and fascination unlike anything I have read in a long while. In particular, the words. Words fill my head all day; which is the most true description of a person, place, or thing? But most often I feel like a mute. Unable to express myself the way I want, constantly searching for the perfect word.

The other day my niece asked me "aren't 'plan' and 'idea' the same thing?" What an interesting question. Merriam-Webster says: idea - a plan for action; something imagined or pictured in the mind; a central meaning or purpose. plan - a drawing or diagram showing the parts or details of something; a method for accomplishing an objective. So it would seem from the definitions that an idea could be a plan and vice versa, but the subtle nuance of difference in the meaning of the two words is fascinating to me. And that's why finding the perfect words is a neverending quest. And why I keep writing.

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