Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Discursive – Wordplay Wednesday™ 08/08/18


Skipping is Fun … Except in Essays 

We all know there is a vicious struggle going on between millennials and boomers, and everyone in-between, regarding grammar (and a number of other topics).

Boomers were taught “by the rules,” millennials were taught but decided most of the rules are rubbish, and then there are those in-betweeners. Like in fashion, it appears these days, anything goes

DISCURSIVE (di skurʹsiv) adj. – 1) wandering from one topic to another; skimming over many apparently unconnected subjects, rambling, desultory, digressive; 2) based on the conscious use of reasoning rather than on intuition. [WW #176]

How can something be curvy and straight at the same time? When it’s discursive, of course. Dissecting the word, we find dis—to cause to be the opposite of—and cursive—flowing, not disconnected. Does that lead us to a straight line? It can, in an essay.

In my staid English, journalism, speech, and creative writing education, oh, so many years ago, we were discouraged from—often reprimanded for—writinge ssays in a rambling, disconnected manner.

Yet, we can now find tips and suggestions all over the ‘Net for writing a “good” discursive essay! In my day, as the saying goes, that’s an oxymoron.

“The main idea of writing discursive essays,” say the folks at MasterPapers.com, “is to set some arguments.” Like we need more reasons and ways to debate in this world!

Although it follows the standard essay structure, discursive wanders around four to six argumentative points, rather than focusing on two or three. I maintain that most people who write them can’t sustain a proper flow for that many points. As for the reader … how confused are thee?!

BUT: Vocabulary.com at least makes the oxymoronic definition amusing: “If people accuse you of rambling from topic to topic in your speech or writing, they may say you have a discursive style — with changes in subject that are hard to follow. But it's okay because unicorns are shiny.” (Seriously, I did not add the unicorn bit—though it is my style.)

Doesn’t that rather follow the problem we have in today’s scatter-brain world? No subject holds our attention for more than a few seconds—and now we’re expected to create worthy essays that support discursive thinking?

There was a reason that for millennia, essays adhered to basic rules of writing. For well-rounded and thought-provoking consideration, one, two, or maximum of three divergent hypotheses were explored, before presenting an informed conclusion.

Our brains need time, room to expand properly on a thought or theory, and open flow, to form opinions that a discursive essay confounds.

Word Challenge: DISCURSIVE. Focus on your primary literary goal with each paper, essay, or commentary you write, as you fit discursive into your week of coherent and polished writings.

Learning knows no prejudices or boundaries, and it isn’t fattening! Expanding your mind is a no-cost simple joy. Do you feel that way too? What’s your inspiration? Share your creative genius and Wordplay Wednesday comments below.

Write first for yourself … only then can you write for others. (L.Rochelle) 

                       


LinDee Rochelle is a writer and editor by trade, and an author by way of Rock & Roll. She has published two books (of three) in her Blast from Your Past series, available on Amazon (eBook and print): Book 1Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The First Five Years 1954-1959; and Book 2Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The Swinging Sixties. Coming soon, … The Psychedelic Seventies!

E-N-Dzzzzzzzz

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

CLAQUE – Wordplay Wednesday™ 08/01/18


This Old Man Came Rolling Home 

Once upon a time down Memory Lane … “fake” most often referred to brand name knock-offs, eyelashes, and anything Hollywood.

That was then, this is now …

CLAQUE (klak) n. – 1) a group of people paid to go to a play, opera, etc. and applaud; 2) a group of admiring or fawning followers. [WW #175]

Huh. And I always thought those people were simply fanatic fans or fake friends. Now we can super-define clique, with claque, a fun alternative word to skew the context and insert into our writing  

It’s the “etc.” in its definition that we can apply claque to these days, to do more than applaud: paid to gather are demonstrators, protestors, supporters, fake Twitter accounts, lobbyists, journalists (oops … that just slipped in); or in another odd way, employees—like in a well-paid company with lots of benefits. They may hate the job, but … (think, any of the big Alpha companies, wink, wink.) 

Clique, claque, paddywhack, give the dog a bone … hmmm, perhaps a tad too much coffee (or beer, depending on time of day!). Some days need to be a little silly.

Word Challenge: CLAQUE. Inspect the crowd next time you venture wherever groups of people gather. Can you spot the claques, as you fit it into your week of fanciful writings?

Learning knows no prejudices or boundaries, and it isn’t fattening! Expanding your mind is a no-cost simple joy. Do you feel that way too? What’s your inspiration? Share your creative genius and Wordplay Wednesday comments below.

Write first for yourself … only then can you write for others. (L.Rochelle) 

                       


LinDee Rochelle is a writer and editor by trade, and an author by way of Rock & Roll. She has published two books (of three) in her Blast from Your Past series, available on Amazon (eBook and print): Book 1Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The First Five Years 1954-1959; and Book 2Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The Swinging Sixties. Coming soon, … The Psychedelic Seventies!

E-N-Dzzzzzzzz

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Alterity – Wordplay Wednesday™ 07/25/18


Change can be good, bad, or “other” 

If you’ve followed these weekly excursions into the English language for a while, you know I don’t necessarily follow the dictionary’s definition to the letter.
 
In today’s world of applying nouns as adjectives and vice versa, it’s fun to imagine more expressive meanings, without totally mangling the original.

With that in mind, you’re encouraged to stretch this week’s word into other realms than for that in which it was created. Your results may fashion something wonderfully unique in its …

ALTERITY (ôl terʹɘ tē) n. – the quality or condition of being other or different, otherness. [WW #174]

Makes sense. A short-and-sweet dictionary definition that appears relatively unassuming.

We’re all familiar with the word alter and its present/past tenses, but have you considered the resulting alterity?

When you alter something, it becomes a thing of alterity. Sounds basic enough. However, using this word as the noun it is, is not necessarily easy, nor common. We don’t often discuss the path to alterity in specific, tangible terms. It simply exists.

Even Wiki and Webster struggled with words to describe this ethereal state of being. Webster featured it in their Word of the Day in 2010, complete with an audiocast*, because alterity’s complex definition defies a mere few words. They focused on the psyche, of course (think Altered States, the 1980 movie), and dwelt on the hallucinogens that can induce alterity of the mind.

Used in writing, however, alterity can be so much more than a state of mind. Apply it to objects: Who knew that the drab, unattractive stone’s alterity of beauty sparkled just beneath the surface?

Word Challenge: ALTERITY. Truly a mind-bender, think outside yourself as you apply alterity to your week of otherness writings. And feel free to share your creative genius with us!

Learning knows no prejudices or boundaries, and it isn’t fattening! Expanding your mind is a no-cost simple joy. Do you feel that way too? Share your comments below, about Wordplay Wednesday or learning in general. What’s your inspiration?

Write first for yourself … only then can you write for others. (L.Rochelle) 

                       


*BTW: I think it’s time to generically define “audiocast” and offer it for dictionary inclusion. Although the term appears in several brand names that focus on sound and music, it apparently has not caught on as a generic definition for sound-only broadcasts. Podcast for instance, is for “listening or viewing.” Audiocast is specifically, a recording for listening only, featuring music, spoken, or other sound file, without visuals. And there you have it.

LinDee Rochelle is a writer and editor by trade, and an author by way of Rock & Roll. She has published two books (of three) in her Blast from Your Past series, available on Amazon (eBook and print): Book 1Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The First Five Years 1954-1959; and Book 2Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The Swinging Sixties. Coming soon, … The Psychedelic Seventies!

E-N-Dzzzzzzzz