I like words. I like fat buttery words, such as ooze, turpitude, glutinous, toady. I like solemn, angular, creaky words, such as straitlaced, cantankerous, pecunious, valedictory. I like spurious, black-is-white words, such as mortician, liquidate, tonsorial, demi-monde. I like suave “V” words, such as Svengali, svelte, bravura, verve. I like crunchy, brittle, crackly words, such as splinter, grapple, jostle, crusty. I like sullen, crabbed, scowling words, such as skulk, glower, scabby, churl. I like Oh-Heavens, my-gracious, land’s-sake words, such as tricksy, tucker, genteel, horrid. I like elegant, flowery words, such as estivate, peregrinate, elysium, halcyon. I like wormy, squirmy, mealy words, such as crawl, blubber, squeal, drip. I like sniggly, chuckling words, such as cowlick, gurgle, bubble and burp.
I like the word screenwriter better than copywriter, so I decided to quit my job in a New York advertising agency and try my luck in Hollywood, but before taking the plunge I went to Europe for a year of study, contemplation and horsing around.
I have just returned and I still like words.
May I have a few with you?
385 Madison Avenue
If zouikes is the answer, what is the question?
Why is Opportunity so well-mannered? Why must it insist on knocking on doors? I say it should pick up some cool entry tactics from a SWAT team.
What is the non-meat eater’s version of: I am so hungry I could eat a horse?
Just looking to be technically/gastronomically correct.
Notice at Railway Station: Change here for mainline trains.
My thought bubble: What is the dress code for mainline trains?
I always thought 1:00 am ideas were genius by default.
Google strode in and cackled in derision —
I am not feeling lucky.
Not just because the markets are flooded with them. But more so because the following is an exquisite primer on philosophy, gastronomy, and the how-to of staying a mile away from the Heimlich. 😉
On the fruit stand.
We eat the smile
And spit out the teeth.
– Charles Simic, from Return to a Place Lit By a Glass of Milk
“What’s that word beginning with an S, that denotes an assorted medley of things?” I asked myself this question a couple of days ago as I was in the midst of writing something, and was all of a sudden stumped for that word beginning with an S.
“I miss C.,” that was my instant thought in answer to the question. C. would have known the right answer to my question.
I didn’t e-mail C. I didn’t reach out for my Thesaurus. I sat quietly for a while. I thought—not hard. Eventually, the word rose from the depths of my mind like a diva in pristine white. It was a sight to behold.
Smorgasbord. I had never loved this word before. It was too rich for my taste; I always saw a multihued extravaganza in it. It had never occurred to me all along that it was a prism that I was missing.
In 1934, a New York copywriter resigned from his well paying job and headed to Hollywood with dreams of making it as a screenwriter. The following is the letter he sent out to the who’s who in business. The letter fetched him three interviews, one of which led to a job as a junior writer at MGM.
I exchange my life for words.
Weak, uncertain currency.
Anna Kamienska, I want to kiss you for writing those words. Truth, beauty, resonance I find them all in there.
I too have exchanged my life for something I know not what, but words constitute a major part of it. Most days, I don’t know what to make of the words I write, but a life without words — I don’t even want to imagine it.
A collection of odd notes put together for this post.
A mind fed on words such as heaven, earth, dew, essence, cinnabar, moonlight, stillness, jade, pearl, cedar, and winter plum is likely to have a serenity not to be found in minds ringing with the vocabulary of the present age – computer, tractor, jumbo jet, speedball, pop, dollar, liquidation, napalm, overkill! Who would thrill at the prospect of rocketing to the moon in a billion-dollar spacecraft if he knew how to summon a shimmering gold and scarlet dragon at any time of the day or night and soar among the stars?
– John Blofeld
Human vocabulary is still not capable, and probably never will be, of knowing, recognizing, and communicating everything that can be humanly experienced and felt. Some say that the main cause of this very serious difficulty lies in the fact that human beings are basically made of clay, which, as the encyclopedias helpfully explain, is a detrital sedimentary rock made up of tiny mineral fragments measuring one two hundred and fifty-sixths of a millimeter. Until now, despite long linguistic study, no one has managed to come up with a name for this.
– Jose Saramago
So, U. The letter U.
This is one of those instances when I am forcing myself to write. Because: the blog challenge. Now that I mention the challenge, I do realise that I haven’t been posting everyday for the last few days. Professional commitments and another writing project left little time for the blog. But that said, I am just going to forge ahead and finish this challenge, though not with the rules it must be finished. But I suppose I can live with it.
A thing that I have noticed over this month of being in this challenge is an affirmation of what Annie Dillard says. She said something on the lines of: don’t hold back; give it all. She was talking of writing. I see the merit in what she says. Holding on to a “nice little nugget” for “something else” seems smart at the time of writing that first piece, but somehow there’s always this nagging thought at the back of the mind that my piece isn’t complete owing to that withheld information. As in writing life, so in daily life.
Today is Earth Day. The year’s campaign focuses on Environmental and Climate Literacy. Chennai had its own event planned for the day — a human chain formation, street play and mime to raise awareness on environmental pollution.
I want to write more on Earth Day, but the internet is a veritable storehouse of information concerning the day’s history, philosophy and sociology. Instead, I thought I’d post Nina Simone’s ‘Feeling Good’; the lyrics portray earth in its vibrant best. It’s a depiction of earth on a day with life brimming over. No wonder, it feels good.
To have and to hold on to that feeling, all of us here have a role to play.
Earth Day greetings, all!