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!


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