Jacqueline West, Writer

Bestselling author of The Books of Elsewhere and Dreamers Often Lie

Only 43 days left? It’s almost anoetic!

May 23, 2012    Tags: ,   

In general, I try not to rely on a thesaurus while I’m writing.  I’ve found that, unless you already have a very clear idea of the type of word you need, staring at a list of not-always-exact synonyms with all their sneaky connotations and roots and sounds will only lead you astray.  However, I do love the thesaurus for those moments when you know there’s a word that starts with “m” and it means something like fake or cheap, but your brain is refusing to give up the goods.

So, the other day, I fell down a thesaurus hole (and I would guess that thesauri would dig rather large holes) while I was on just such a quest, and I found a list of synonyms for “surprised” that were so strange I was sure that some of them must be fake.  Someone must have hacked into the online thesaurus and added these words, I thought to myself, like I saw my high school students do with Wikipedia. (The town where I taught was famous for being the home of several of my 11th graders.)  But it turns out that these wonderful words were real.  The first–anoetic–which actually means ‘unthinkable’ (and which isn’t recognized by WordPress’s spell check, apparently), sounded familiar.  The next, blutterbunged, had that too-perfect-to-be-true sound to it, and it’s an antiquated adjective that means exactly what it should mean.  A ferly is a Scottish adjective or noun meaning something strange and amazing and unexpected.  Best of all was gloppened–which is a form of the verb gloppen, meaning to surprise or frighten someone.  You can be a gloppener.  You can do something gloppeningly.  You can have said something gloppenedly.

For some reason, this makes me ridiculously happy.

And just for fun, here’s Brom on the porch, disemboweling a new toy.



2 Comments (Leave a comment)

  1. Jacqueline I must thank you for writing these books. I had recently found your first book and bought it. The goal was to give it to my eight year old neice Jade, however, I found myself home last friday night and I picked up your book and began to read it. By the end of the weekend I found myself wanting more. I told several people at work about your book. They were very intrested to hear more. I must say I feel in love with it. I can’t wait to give it to Jade next week for her birthday. It was so good I can only hope that Jade feels the same. Thank you so much for writing these again. Your book brught me back to my childhood once again and you can imagin how greatfull I am for that. I want to read more of your books and I;m looking forword to read your new book that is coming out soon. congradulations.

    Comment by Stephanie Thomma on May 24, 2012 @ 2:18 pm

  2. Thank you so much for this. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to hear that someone loves my books and is spreading the word. I hope that your niece enjoys The Shadows, too — and please wish her a happy birthday for me.

    Comment by JacquiWest on May 25, 2012 @ 5:01 pm

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