We’re big fans of words, which is no surprise, considering our profession as writers. We read a lot of fiction of all types. We read poetry. We read instruction manuals, which seem like fiction to us because they seldom match the actual process required to assemble the item purchased. And sometimes we read the dictionary for fun, though mostly we do that when we want to cheat at Scrabble.
We’re also very interested in the etymology of words, that is, where they come from. In our young adult novel, The SkyHorse, one of the characters is from a different land, and she uses words from her world. We based her language on words with Indo-European roots because those suited the time and place of her heritage and background. Where’d we learn about that particular type of root word? From the dictionary. Our edition has a detailed appendix full of fascinating information about root words. See? All that fun dictionary reading came in handy.
You can also check for the history of a word in the main portion of a dictionary. It’s usually in parenthesis at the beginning or end of the definition. And of course, you can consult Google, who knows all.
Google will even give you the definition of “doe snot.” Contrary to popular belief, and despite the multitude of unusual creatures residing in Carpenter Country, doe snot is not derived from the nasal discharge of a sick one-horned deer. Instead, the root of the term lies in the typographical errors of writers whose thoughts move faster than their fingers. It really does…or doe snot.
Are you a fellow logophile? Let us know in the comments.
Florida-based mother/daughter author duo HL Carpenter writes sweet, clean fiction that is suitable for everyone in your family. The Carpenters write from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit HLCarpenter.com to enjoy gift reads and excerpts and to find out what’s happening in Carpenter Country.
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