Today’s writing exercise is a mind workout. It’s a simple process, that for me really opens my mind to new word choice possibilities.
Here we go:
- First grab a dictionary.
- Flip to any page you want.
- Randomly choose a word from the page.
- Now, use the word in a sentence, but change the part of speech it normally is to another one. So, if the word is a noun, use it as an adjective, or a preposition.
- Do any part of speech, but try to maintain a similar meaning or at least a meaning you would expect that word to have in the new form.
Colors are a good example. You hear about a leaf greening, or a face yellowing, what would be oranging?
How about the sun oranging the street?
What about the word corolla – a noun meaning the petals of a flower?
What if a building had no windows on the first floor, but the higher up you looked the more windows there were and the tighter together they were built? What if they seemed to curve together and make up the whole top of the building. Could the windows be corolla windows?
Not only is it a word that evokes specific imagery but the vowels smooth over from one word to another. Corolla windows.
Words are limitless.
I always joke with Justin that my English degree certifies me to change the language at my will.
The truth is (I love this topic, if you can’t tell) language changes by anyone’s will.
Obviously, I think there is importance in the proper way of writing and using the language -proper spelling, grammar and all that, but I think about how fun it is to manipulate the language as well and really-how important it is too. Creatively changing the language to meet the needs of a writer wanting to express a very specific idea makes using words in uncommon ways important, as an exercise of the creative mind and a practice for writers pushing envelopes like e.e. Cummings and Shakespeare.
What are some of your favorite uncommon, improper uses of words?
Also, check out a review for my poetry collection by Michelle Proulx! A big thank you goes out to her for reading and letting people know about it.