Here's another one. pilloried
Here's another one. pilloried
Having an extensive vocabulary can often allow one to be more precise. Red is a color, but crimson carries more information, as do vermilion and maroon. The same can be true of many other words. "Peregrinations" is more interesting than "travels", and "perambulate" more precise than "walk". There was a time when the ability to write well was actually admired. Personally I have always loved words (call me a logophile if you wish). I actually delight in encountering words with which I am unfamiliar. One of the things I really miss now that I mostly use the built in dictionary on the computer instead of a print dictionary is the opportunity stumble across new words while looking up the spelling or meaning of a word I already know. I read some word one the other day which I thought was very cool, and now I can't remember what it was or where I saw it. Leaves me somewhat peeved. I also admire correct grammar and good construct and detest the opposite
Sad to say that I just don't do as much reading as I used to. Seems like the days are just too full. S'pose if I gave up TV & the computer I'd have more time. Sometimes when sitting in the photo blinds I can do some reading, but have to be careful to keep one eye peeled so as not to miss anything special. Last really good thing I read was "Beyond the Wall" by Edward Abbey. I had never read anything by him before, but he has incredible phraseology; here is a snippet from another of his works quoted in Wikipedia: "....crags and pinnacles of naked rock, the dark cores of ancient volcanoes, a vast and silent emptiness smoldering with heat, color, and indecipherable significance, above which floated a small number of pure, clear, hard-edged clouds. For the first time, I felt I was getting close to the West of my deepest imaginings, the place where the tangible and the mythical became the same." Don't know if there are any five dollar words there, but, wow.
I got to know McManus reading Outdoor Life in the barber shop as a kid and later from my own subscription. I stumbled across Babcock's "I Don't Want to Shoot an Elephant" in a used book store, and just loved it. One of my treasured possessions. Have offered to let friends read it under the condition that it doesn't leave my property.
I am sure that I have read Gene Hill as I used to read both Field and Stream and Sports Afield. Will have to see if the library has any of his books (do you have a personal pick?). Just looked on the net to see if I recognized anything and found some great quotes: (about dogs) "I've had good ones and bad of several kinds. Most of the bad ones were my fault and most of the good ones would have been good under any circumstances." Gene Hill, and another one about life: "All we should ever count is hours; never birds, nor length of horn or hits or misses. If we want to do something where we can't lose, then we must accept the proposition that we cannot win. We are not involved in a contest, but a very simple and pure journey that promises each day out will be different, unrepeatable, unrecapturable."
In further reply to Murral:
I read phrases like those above and think "None of those words are new to me. I've used everyone of them at some time or another. How come I never string them together like that?"
I think it is the admiration and even envy one feels when faced with such pure word-craft that influences one to strive, no matter how inadequately, to emulate notable writers. Part of that attempt involves looking for the EXACT word or phrase for the particular situation. That leads to learning and using words that some might consider five dollar or high-faluten. It is usually not an attempt to talk down to or be condescending to others. On the other hand, in a contentious exchange, the use of verbiage can often be an effective tool in making the opponent appear (and feel) outgunned.
Happy to hear you enjoy a good 'wordsmith'. So do I. Wish I could qualify, but fall short. Doesn't stop me from recognizing the good stuff, and continuing to emulate those I admire.
To that end, one of the very best was the late Gene Hill. Hilly, as he was affectionately known by his fellow writers, was like wearing an old pair of well-broken-in shoes...just plain comfortable to be with. And when you read his stories, that's how he made you feel. As did Gordon MacQuarrie.
If you don't have any MacQuarrie in your library, go to his families website and order the ODHA trilogy...a compilation of his masterpieces as compiled by his dear friend at Sports Afield, Zack Taylor. You will be enthralled. In his honor and memory, for over 30 years my hunting and fishing facility, fondly referred to as a 'cabin', although in reality was only a mobile home, carried the homemade sign nailed to the outer wall. The ODHA,inc, (the inc stood for incorrigable) was a way of life I gladly accepted.
Some of the books by Gene Hill that are included in my library that I especially enjoy reading over many times are: A Listening Walk; A Hunter's Fireside Stories; Outdoor Yarns and Outright Lies....that last one was co-authored with Steve Smith, one of Hilly's closest buddies, and editor of The Retriever Journal which I highly recommend to all that are Retriever lovers and trainers. Every now and then, Steve will include one of Hilly's stories in his mag. The most recent was one of Hilly's classics entitled "ONE". As is the case with many of those Hill stories, this was a big time tear-jerker.
As to my McManus collection, ir was begun as a gift from my eldest son...a set of four McManus soft covers: A fine and Pleasant Misery; They Shoot Canoes, Don't They?;Never Sniff A Gift Fish; The Grasshopper Trap. I later added Real Ponies Don't Go Oink; and Into The Twilight, Endlessly Grousing. That last one was the epitome of how McManus has become one of the finest authors using the double entendre. In that book is a story that is gut-wrenchingly funny, that after reading it several times, it causes me to laugh out loud...Hunting The Wily Avid. It's just outstandingly hilarious.
I hope you can find some of these tomes. They are as enjoyable as anything with which you can entertain yourself.
I had intended to post a picture of my 'cabin' with it's tribute to Gordon MacQuarrie, but can't get into that file. I use it so seldom recently, I don't have the password or user name correct to access that program. That's what happens with getting to the stage in life when I can disremember if I had breakfast. If I get into that file, I'll add that pic then.
I have "Never Sniff ....." and I think another of McManus's in my library. I'll have to check the public library for some of Gene Hill's.
Something I learned recently . . . $5.00 words are worthless unless used in a manner to convey their meaning to the "fifty cent" crowd. For instance, I recently used the word "stob" in a sentence. My non southern writer's class all jumped me at once saying that was not a word. They were right, it was a common slang word from my area that referred to the skinny, short stumps of pines that had been cut. The lesson learned was how to use and define the word all in one sentence so that a reader learned something too. This is a skill to be developed. The very best writers open horizons by offering new words and language in such a way that the meaning is clear. My goal now is to use new, more complex words for better description, not to flaunt a vocabulary.
I love this thread!
Subscribed to M-W's "word of the day" the day you mentioned it and have already found three new words that could be used here daily: "ratiocination" (thought) the first word on the day I signed up, "sequacious" (intellectually servile) from the archives, and today's "pertinacious" (resolutely holding on to an opinion, purpose, or design). Unfortunately, the last two are somewhat pejorative (which is what would make them useful here) ;-).
Actually, I checked, and "stob" IS in the Merriam Webster's online dictionary, so it is officially a word!! I believe that I have used it before, and certainly would recognize it in context.
Can you give an example of how you would use that word so that it was defined without actually saying "The hunter cursed at all the stobs (short, thin, pine stumps) that covered the recent clear-cut like the spines on a hedgehog's back and hindered his already challenging stalk."?