Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Daily Something #4: An Exercise with Words

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I am reading The Discovery of Poetry by Frances Mayes. So far, I have been thoroughly enjoying it.  In chapter two, she discusses how we are affected by the texture and sounds of words and suggests an exercise that will allow you to discover what your eyes, ears, and imagination particularly respond to by writing down your one hundred favorite words.  This seems simple enough, but if you're like me, once you try it, you'll soon discover that pairing down the English language to a mere one hundred words is a nerve racking exercise.  No matter the quality and richness of the words you choose, you're bound to feel as if you've wrongly discriminated against thousands of other perfectly good words.  But, choices must be made, and a line must be drawn in the dictionary's sand.

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