Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Morning Observation #1

Daily observations are quick snippets of my sometimes brilliant and sometimes dead wrong writer's take on the hodge-podge of stuff that happens every day.
Today's my first report and my topic came from the comic pages of my daily newspaper. I'm probably one of the last handful of people who still get a local morning newspaper, so take my comments with a grain or handful of salt as I present you with one of my favorite strips: Stone Soup.

My first impression when I read this strip was the use of the word "kind." The mother's lecture is an old-time platitude that I think I first saw in Dear Abby, when I was in eighth grade. For the most part it happen to be true, but I took issue with using the word "kind" in this context. The correct word is "inoffensive."

To me "kind" is uplifting, flattering, the kind of thing that inspires people to do better, like "You wrote a brilliant book."  Where "inoffensive: is about avoiding the expected response that might make you feel like a dirty, rotten liar, wherein you say something like, "That's some book you wrote."

One thing I believe in is precise word choices and I sometimes get annoyed at the erosion of word meanings over time. I do respect that English is an evolving language, but . . . hell it's still annoying.

So how about you? Are there words you feel have lost their original meaning? Which ones and how do you think they should be used? I'm interested, readers are interested, so if you have a minute drop off a comment. there are no hoops to go through to post and It's great to hear from readers.

Connie Flynn, bestselling, award-winning author of ten published novels and three published short stories covering fantasy, mystery and romance also writes mysteries as K.C. Flynn and teaches fiction writing at Mesa Community College  Look for several new releases from Connie/K.C. in 2013. She invites you to subscribe to this blog and you can find her current books and contact information at her website.

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