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At a recent writer’s critique circle, I contributed several minor corrections during what was a moderately attended but quite active and rewarding session.  Most of the improvements yours truly suggested to other writers were targeted towards their choices of words.
For example:

  • ‘Clambered’ is an action, not a sound;
  • People don’t ‘skitter’ accidentally on pools of blood — skittering is an intentional act and is usually done by small furry creatures;
  • Use ‘rabble’, not ‘rubble’ — Rubble are rocks, rabble are people.

dict_memeI made a few additional vocabulary corrections throughout the evening, but I’m sure you get the gist.  After one of my comments, a writer a few seats away asked, “Did you swallow a dictionary?”

In a way, I guess I did!  Me Mum made me consume a handful of tomes designed to build one’s vocabulary while I was in grade school and junior high. She was adamant about the worth of an education, and was a great help when I dealt with my budding dyslexia and stuttering. There was one phrase she used only occasionally, but has stuck with me since, and I firmly believe to this day:

“The more four-letter words you use, the more people will think you have
an IQ of four.”

So yes, I considered the writer’s question a compliment! (Not a complement!)

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