I often find my mind wandering about, or spinning depending upon its capabilities at any particular moment, and thinking upon words and their meanings. Admittedly I didn’t get particularly fussy about them until I started writing… Okay that was a blatant falsehood. I really started paying attention to them when I began reading a book that forced me to use the dictionary several times per chapter.
Usually my vocabulary allows me to get by without resorting to such extreme measures mostly by way of contextual understanding which, quite simply, didn’t work in this instance. The dictionary sat right beside The Witch of Cologne for the duration of my journey into the world of the Spanish Inquisition. (It was not at all like the jaunty little Mel Brooks tune below- much to my chagrin.)
It got me thinking not just about the Inquisition, although that is certainly worthy of some pondering, but about words and how we use them.For my part I will usually hunt for just the right word when working on a manuscript (or, hell, even this blog). I consider the meanings, the implications as well as the rhythm of the sentence with each option. Clumsy sentences annoy me. A lot. Nothing like reading a beautiful phrase only for it to end with a word that makes you go “meh”.
Not everyone is as critical (read: anal) about such matters as I so I ask you, dear reader, what do you think? Do you get caught up in understanding each word? Do you only feel compelled to look up those that truly vex you? Do you shrug them off so long as you understand the context?