Seeing Might not be Believing

Some things are simply not meant to be
heard
But to be
read, seen.
The impact of same-sounding
different’-spelled words is not
made or experienced without
seeing this difference.
Sometimes a combination of
hearing and seeing
is required to grasp
the thought or idea
being expressed, communicated.


This poem is part of my debut collection Inside a Writer’s Head.
You can read more poems from Inside a Writer’s Head here, buy the collection, or join the January/February giveaway for a chance to win the ebook.

Vocabulary Differences

I use words differently than most people around me. Not in a way that hinders understanding, but my word choice sometimes surprises people.

Today at work, my manager remarked on my use of “unwieldy.” I actually realize now I said it wrong, because I said “unwieldly,” with an extra l. He said a lot of other people would have used “awkward” or another more common word.

Previously, another coworker was surprised by a word I used, though I cannot recall which word it was.

That got me thinking, why do I use a different vocabulary to most of the people I interact with?

For the most part, it’s fairly similar, with a few uncommon word choices. Sometimes I’ll use a word with creative liberty, like finagle. I don’t use that exactly as the definition, “obtain by devious or dishonest means” (according to Google). I have remarked to a friend that I was trying to finagle my hair tie (ponytail holder) out of my hair. It adds a layer of meaning that implies it is difficult and I cannot do it as I would normally.

Over time, I have encountered and learned a wide variety of words. I have admired odd or meaning-heavy word choices. I find it exciting and creative. That has likely contributed to my adoption of unusual and uncommon words into my vocabulary.

I tend to go through cycles of infatuation with specific words, interestingly enough. For a week or even a few days, I might really enjoy using unwieldy or finagle or some other word. (Sorry I cannot think of more specific examples other than those two at the moment.) Then I might find or remember another word I really like and start using it again.

When I think of a word choice that fits and feels correct, I use it, even if it may seem wrong or strange to other people. Most of the time, I have not had confusion with this approach, though it has been seen as amusing. I’ve also had cases where I learned I was using a word completely incorrectly and it did not work in my chosen context even with creative liberty. That happens. I learned and adjusted my speech and writing according to my newfound knowledge.

I enjoy surprising people with the freshness of unfamiliar or infrequently-used words. I’m not trying to show off or appear smart by using “big words” or words people don’t hear often. I’m trying to use the right word, and often that’s not the usual way of expressing that idea.

I love unusual words. Share your favorite uncommon word with me in the comments!

No Writing, Obviously (Poem)

This is a poem from Inside a Writer’s Head. Read more from and about the collection here.

I haven’t written a word today,

I haven’t even tried.

Not a single silver word,

I’ve kept them trapped inside.

And now there is a struggle,

A conflict I haven’t heard.

The words want me to free them,

But I’m holding them captive

So they won’t thwart

My attempts at writing

When that time, it comes again.