Contraction

Contraction: (n) a shortened form of a word or group of words

I have been considered a writer by entities other than my personal ego.

I am grateful for that nod—humbled by the notion that someone would actually like to read a few words that I have put into sentences as long as they funny wisdom on words that begin with a Cdon’t extend beyond three paragraphs.

I have often stopped and wondered if I should use the contraction “it’s” instead of “it is” or “I’m” instead of “I am.”

Here’s an easy one—“let’s” instead of “let us.” (No one says “let us” unless they’re doing medieval theater.)

When is it valuable to shorten something and when does the extension produce greater impact?

It’s a decision I make nearly every day. There are actually times when “do not” is more effective than “don’t.” Don’t you agree?

There are occasions when “we’ll” does not appear as the word “well” and may be an on-point insertion rather than the words “we will.”

But in my limited and less-than-touted-in-fame journey, I have found that when emphasis is needed, remove the contraction. For at that point, it more resembles a contraption.

 Donate Button


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Advertisements

Compelling

Compelling: (adj) evoking interest, attention, or admiration in a powerfully irresistible way.

Before I begin my writing session every morning I like to have a granola bar and a cup of coffee.

I use that as an opening sentence, not because it was valuable to your well-being, but rather, I wanted some clever way to start this essay.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

What I’m about to share is not particularly enlightening nor clever. Turning on the television set for background distraction, I was confronted–no, presented–with four stories. These were the leads for the news on this particular morning’s broadcast:

There was a girl, slightly inebriated, dancing on a boat

A man handed a woman a piece of candy at a funeral

A preacher carelessly brushed his hand up against a famous singer’s breast

And a little boy comically took a mouthful of bitter chocolate powder, and then spit it out

I am not trying to be critical. After all, I watched the stories, and remembered enough to reiterate them to you.

But there was nothing compelling here.

Any attempt on my part to be compelled by these passing fancies would be bizarre.

Do I need compelling challenges in my life?

Considering the fact that I am a human being who thinks returning a shopping cart is an act of charity, I should be looking for possibilities to be motivated to escape my lower monkey, and spend at least a minute or two with my higher angel.

 

Donate Button

Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Combo

Combo: (n) a small jazz, rock, or pop band.

Being clever is similar to setting a bear trap down in a room full of balloons. It is so easy to spring the trap and bust all your balloons of hope.

In my early years I had a music group and was desperately trying to promote us–at least to the point that I could make enough “jack” to pay for “Jill.”

Money was rare.

Now, opportunities and gigs seemed to pop up everywhere–but when the subject of remuneration was suggested, there were offers of free coffee, “help yourself
to the day-old pastry,” or “we have a garage where you can sleep overnight.”

I knew I needed to do something drastic to set our group apart from the rest of the marauding musicians trying to fend for the single crust of bread, so I put together a damn good press release.

Now, wait.

Understand–this was an era when bands did not advertise themselves via printed material, but rather, through audition tapes or live performances.

I got a great picture of us, looking our cutest (and surliest) and attached our release. One of the things I discovered in writing the piece was that if you’re constructing a great article, it should not repeat words.

I kept landing on the word “group.” “Group?” “GROUP!”

So thinking myself extremely clever, I went to the Thesaurus and looked for different words to communicate the idea “group.”

One of those was “combo.”

I was ecstatic. The word sounded good to me, so I stuck it in the press release a couple of times and sent it off.

I noticed when I started calling places back to see if they wanted to schedule us based on our fine piece of promotional material, the proprietors would grumble, “We’re not interested in a jazz thing.”

I tried to explain that we weren’t jazz, but by that time they had hung up the phone and I was left standing, listening to the dial tone of the day.

Finally, one of the gentlemen I called suggested a nightclub down the street that specialized in jazz.

I squeezed in my question. “We’re not a jazz group. Where did you get the idea we played jazz?”

“Really?” he said. “Your article said you were a combo, and I never heard of any band calling themselves a combo unless they were jazz.”

I wanted to tell him about my journey through the “prehistoric thesaurus,” but instead, I went back to my creation and removed the word “combo.”

Needing to replace it, I inserted “adventurers.”

 

Donate Button

Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Cliché

Cliché : (n) a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought.

Because I write an essay or two or more every day, I’ve learned to avoid clichés. fiancé

I can say “a penny saved is a penny burned.” That’s making fun of a cliché. But to insist that it’s “earned” makes my penning arcane. (similar to using the word “arcane.”)

Yet there are things that have been proclaimed to be clichés which have recently been abandoned by our culture, and need to be returned quickly–before we come apart at the seams.

“Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Just because it’s been presented for centuries does not mean it has lost the gold in its rule. Simply spoken, the absence of such a cliché is the presence of Earthly mayhem.

How about another one?

“You get more flies with honey than vinegar.”

Have we begun to believe that how we react, think and speak is insignificant? Are we asking the human race that surrounds us to tolerate our mood swings under the guise that if they don’t, they are intolerant? I think there’s a power to being kind. Do you?

“To he who much is given, much is expected.”

Might seem like a cliché–especially since it’s become popular to insist that each of us pull our own load, simulating some sort of unnatural evenness. There are two reasons people don’t have money:

  1. They are poor.
  2. They use money poorly.

It is ludicrous to think they will rise to the occasion and suddenly become prudent with finance. These poor will be with us always and we should do for them what we can–especially if we find that we have a knack of drawing in the bucks.

Yes, there are many clichés that should not be ignored or set aside simply because of their birth date.

They are just old and wizened–not dead and in need of burial.

Donate Button

 

Clever

Clever: (adj) quick to understand

I have always contended that the best way to be clever (quick to understand) is to make sure you’re slow to tout your intelligence.

I don’t know why people work so hard to establish that they are smart when being knowledgeable just plays out.

So, avoid making claims in the chill of the moment, which melt in the heat of the day.

I don’t exactly know how to be clever. I get accused of it all the time, and I’ve even had people ask me what the secret is to cleverness. The only response I can give them is, “For God’s sakes–don’t try.

After all, there is nothing that is less clever than trying to be clever.

It’s awkward.

It’s dopey.

It’s like taking a selfie and pointing out to people how cute you are.

It usually fails miserably, especially when you have to explain your cleverness because it has overshot the comprehension of your audience.

I think clever and cleverness is like dew: get there early, make sure you’re frosty and find a nice spot to let the cool that surrounds you “dew” its stuff.

Donate Button

 

Clamor

Clamor: (n) a loud and confused noise, especially that of people shouting vehemently.

Is it possible to object without being objectionable?

Can we raise issues without raising our blood pressure?

Can we stimulate the conversation without stimulating the anger that inhibits reasoning?

Why do we clamor?

Do we secretly think we may be wrong, and the more we shout the less likely the exposure?

Are we obsessed with the notion that our much speaking actually affects the thinking of others?

When will we comprehend that the louder we get, the less power there is in what we say?

Why is cleverness dying?

Why is diplomacy viewed as weakness?

Why would people mock the notion that “a soft answer turns away wrath?”

When did sheer brute force convince our nation to pursue its prowess?

Is it possible to make such a convincing argument that it can be delivered in a whisper?

Does the proclamation, “change the world” have to be blared, or can it be delivered with an ironic smile?

The louder we get, the less is done.

The more intense we become, the less effective.

The reason the meek inherit the Earth is because the dominant, forceful and tribal leaders kill one another off–leaving behind the inheritance of an Earth that still needs to be reformed, but would prefer it be done with some gentleness.

I’m going to stop clamoring.

I shall no longer clamor.

To clamor is to annoy.

Do I really believe that? Do you really believe that?

Maybe we could start believing it together.

 

 

Donate Button

 

 

Bloke

Bloke: (n) a man; a fellow.

Dictionary B

There is an unwritten rule of writing. (That sounds like an oxymoron.)

What I’m saying is that normally in the process of writing five hundred words, you try not to repeat any word more than once (which I just did).

So if for some reason, your story is talking about a fellow, or some guy, and you decide not to give this gentleman a name, then you are forced to come up with a series of words which represent a male.

It’s what I call “Roget Writing”–when you look up different ideas for the same thing in the thesaurus, in order to appear clever.

It is not only difficult and clumsy, but can become quite comical–because after you’ve used, “man, guy, fellow, chap, and dude,” you start considering inserting the word “bloke.”

Even though the person is not from “Down Under,” you take the risk anyway.

It’s one of those things that makes you look like an amateur, when the better solution is to give your character a name so you don’t have to keep describing him using as many macho representations as available.

 

Donate ButtonThank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix 


Jonathan’s Latest Book Release!

PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

Click here to get your copy now!

PoHymn cover jon