Friday, February 15, 2013

Living with Word Addiction


I freely admit it: I am addicted to words.  I think most of us who write have the same addiction to one extent or another. Words have power and the more words we know, then the more power we have as writers. The two most important references in my writer’s toolbox are a dictionary and a thesaurus.  I could not write without them. However, my addiction to words goes beyond the norm.

My infatuation with words started early in life and began with my learning to read. I read everything I found that had words, from books to magazines to comic books. It is true that I did not understand all I read, and there were many times when I came across words that I could not readily sound out to pronounce. My parents, whom I suspect were weary of my spelling out words for them to pronounce and give definitions, added a dictionary to my bookshelf when I was around six years-old. It was not a child’s dictionary; rather it was a regular grown-up Webster’s Dictionary. After bestowing me with this fascinating tome of words, if I attempted to spell out a word for their appraisal, their answer to me was, “Go and look it up in your dictionary.”

Eventually, I began to keep notebooks of words and their definitions, and later, when I discovered the thesaurus, I added their synonyms. Eventually, I transferred the words in the notebooks to index cards, with words on one side and their definitions and synonyms listed on the other side. I still do this, and yes, I admit that hoarding words is a weird obsession. However, I find that as a writer it is an obsession with an advantage as words inspire more words, which eventually lead to prose and verse and before you know it, you are writing essays, articles, poems and even novels.  

And so, dear friends, I do not apologize for my word addiction, and I do not foresee a rehabilitation program in my future. However, I feel that you, my readers, should have forewarning that anyone could acquire this obsession.  There are millions of words out there in the open just waiting to drag you into their world and there is no escape…

Keep on reading; keep on writing and thanks for stopping by. ~Yvonne~ 
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