Since I wrapped my last novel, I’ve been riding The Lazy Train when it comes to writing. Four years on a project is a long time! I need to do some shorter stuff that will help me ease from the steps into the deep end of the pool. Inspired by a tattoo artist who was advised to draw like crazy to develop a portfolio before she ever picked up an ink gun, I am trying a similar move with words. (And I know Julie Powell did this with cooking a few years back which started as a blog, then turned into a book, then a movie. You just never know the possibilities.)
I will scour various sources for words that I consider weird and will post short thoughts about them. Who knows what will come out? I’ll keep it brief. Then I will crown the Weird Word of the Week. I’d considered doing this daily, because I like the idea of a regimen, but wasn’t sure how many weird words I would encounter. And, let’s face it, Word of the Day has been done to death.
Alpha helix is weird, and two words. Defined, a spatial configuration of many protein molecules in which . . . I stopped reading because unless I were writing about a scientist, I would never have an opportunity to use such a word, much less understand it. (I would have to call my sister, the physics teacher.)
My husband has had the word nosegay in this pocket since the 7th grade. It is a small bouquet of flowers. In this century sounds like a slur, or a pharmaceutical.
Alright . . .
Is alright weird? It might be apropos. See how I’m easing in? Okay, it’s a rubber life raft that’s almost as large as the pool. If you stay with me, it will get better.
I do think it is odd to either be alright or all right. The shorter alright is used mainly in dialogue and considered incorrect in formal writing. Whereas all right is higher brow and scholarly. My writing critique group has landed on me more than a couple of times about that.
Many folks are waking up this New Year’s morning to say, “Alright. Today I start the __________ (diet, workout, regimen, project, new attitude toward humanity).”
Me? I’m adding Weird Word of the Week to my already odd repertoire. You know if it’s strange and unusual I’ve got to move closer to it.
Enjoy the final day of your holiday.
Mr. “Alright. Alright. Alright.”