WordSmith Bits

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Best Infrequently Used Words That Are Good To Know

May 3, 2014




                 Important Infrequently Used Words To Know
                                                                                    Paul V. Hartman

(The Capitalized syllable gets the emphasis)

alacrity       a-LACK-ra-tee      cheerful willingness and promptness
anathema       a-NATH-a-ma      a thing or person cursed, banned, or reviled
anodyne        AN-a-dine      not likely to cause offence or disagreement and somewhat dull//anything that sooths or comforts
aphorism       AFF-oar-ism      a short, witty saying or concise principle
apostate       ah-POSS-tate       (also:  apostasy)      person who has left the fold or deserted the faith.
arrogate       ARROW-gate      to make an unreasonable claim
atavistic      at-a-VIS-tic      reverting to a primitive type
avuncular      a-VUNC-you-lar      “like an uncle”; benevolent


bathos         BATH-ose      an anticlimax
bereft         ba-REFT      to be deprived of something valuable      “He was bereft of reason.”

calumny        KAL-um-knee      a slander or false accusation
canard         kan-ARD      a fabricated story (French=”duck”; morte canard=dead duck)
cant      kant      insincerity
chimera        ki-MEER-ah   (not: chim-er-ah)      Originally: a mythical beast; any unreal thing; foolish fancy      (adj=chimerical     ki-MEER-a-cal)
cloy      to grow sick from an abundance of something
comitatus      com-a-TAY-tus      loyalty to one’s band or group
concatenation       con-CAT-a-nation      things linked together or joined in a chain
copacetic      “going just right”
cosseted       KOS-a-ted     pampered
cupidity       que-PID-a-tee      greed; avarice

cynosure  SIGH-na-shore      (from the Greek: “dog’s tail”)      center of attention; point to which...


Tags: infrequently-used-words

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All the 'Write' Bits

April 16, 2014

hello mouse
All The Write Bits

A group to help improve
writing skills for everyone.

If you write, if you read, if
you teach, if you want to
learn...this is where you
just jump in!

You don’t have to be an expert.
You don’t have to be a Rhodes scholar or
even educated past being able to
write words on a page that are
comprehensible. If you’re an eighth
grade graduate who never had an
opportunity for “formal education”,
or if you’ve graduated magna cum
laude at the most prestigious university...
it matters not.
If the words you write can move the hearts and
stir the souls of another human being, then
you most certainly are a writer.

Improving ones writing is a worthy goal for
anyone in any category or station in life.
So, let’s begin!

First off, writers are a dime a dozen.
Good writers are often hidden behind ordinary people and may be a bit harder to find.
And outstanding writers are absolutely priceless.

But what makes an outstanding writer may lie in the eye of the beholder/or reader as it may be.  We can write, to then witness our writing enjoyed by only a handful,  or the... [More]

Tags: all the write bits

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Improving your craft

January 16, 2012

Tips for improving your writing:

1. Avoid cliches - (here is a sampling):
add insult to injury, against all odds, big fish in a small pond, cute as a button, divide and conquer, one trick pony, dyed in the wool etc...
Makes the read mundane and boring. Common and far from unique. Does not add one thing to the story usually, and predictable.

2. When wrting a story with various characters, think about the motivation behind each characters actions/behavior/character. What things molded this or that person into behaving in a particular way. Why are they who they are? They didn’t just drop out of the sky. Each has a background that brought them to the forefront of the story you are writing. Incorporate some history for these, to make them believable to your readers.

Flash backs and glimpses into your characters pasts will build the story you are trying to write, and add depth to your words.

3.Stop. Read through your work objectively, as if you hadn't been the one that put those words down. If this means that you have to set it aside for a time and return to it later, so be it. The best thing you...


Tags: improving, writing-tips

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Picture Writing Challenges

January 18, 2002

Some of the most fun writing challenges, and most interesting results, can come from image challenges. Art works, pictures of people, objects, animals...all can spark emotion in us. To be challenged upon our first impressions of seeing an image is real, visceral, and full of instant creativity. Write without too much thought involved, just the sheer reactions experienced upon seeing SOMETHING that stirs our soul.

They can be funny, serious, challenging, meaningul, frivolous...and everything that depicts a certain smile, walk, concern portrayed in someone else's work of art or photograph. 

I will, from time to time place one such challenge here for you to 'react/respond' to. You are welcome to place your thoughts here, or at our group on FB, Writers Block Community or submit it to The WordSmith. Of course, you don't have to do any of those things, but if one of the images here was able to spark a work of art from you in the form of poetry or prose, we'd sure like to see it sometime. Just sayin...

 Here is one that I did awhile back. Feel free to use it and any subsequent images placed for your own writing challenge.


Chef Pierre



Tags: image-challenge, lit-dreamer

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Keep your Creative Process Fresh!!!

January 18, 2002

by participating in   ONE WORD!

This is a fun exercise that you can do every day if you choose.
It is amazing what you can write given only 60 seconds!
You are given only One Word on the page and you will be timed sixty seconds to write whatever comes to mind.

When your time is up, you are allowed to finish your thought and then hit the publish button!

I have done this often just because it's great fun! But you can also use this as a launch into writing something significant. I copy and paste my entries at One Word, into an on-going document on my desktop. That way, I can go back and see what I've written and possibly use them at a later date to develope a full-blown story or poem from.

It keeps you on your toes and your mind constantly scrambling for lucid thought. I think every writer would have fun w/this and enjoy it. So why not give it a go?
If you do, you can always copy and paste and post it here as well.

=)  have fun!

A fun writing exercise that an imagination can take hold of...just from having... [More]

Tags: link, one-word

Posted at: 03:35 PM | 0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink

Spur of the moment Haiku...

January 16, 2002

Slumbering night comes...
slips silently by my side
a still friend to me
linda marie pharaoh carlson©

Posted at: 07:36 PM | 0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink

Poetry from The WordSmith - linda marie pharaoh carlson

January 16, 2002


 Winter Flash

beneath the chilled earths
white blankets
embers of passion warm
against back drops of
orange red skies
there is no more cold...
only still, deep, crisp
emotions awakened
in the flaming fire of
two hearts joined
and beating
in unison.
Is it love
which melts the
winter bluster in
the soul?
Is it winter that
ignites the passion
of wandering fools?
It is.

~ linda marie pharaoh carlson© ~

written and posted  @ Poetic Moods
writing challenge


by linda marie pharaoh carlson© 10-18-12

Deliver us from these prison walls
which chain us fast in place.
Unbreakable bondage
which adds new agony with every
ticking minute.

Tick  tick  tock - swift currents of time
wash away.

There is no escape from the walls we build
securely by our own two hands. For we build
them strong, impenetrable, and with permanent

Every new sunrise awakens that hidden
spark of hope within each beating
heart - that soon, deliverance will
To only then face the sunset, having all hope
vanquished yet again, by the torments
of those hours spent...waiting.

Why do we continue to hope,

Tags: poetry-by-the-wordsmith-lmpc

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Visit The WordSmith - Submit your stories, poetry!

January 16, 2002


Tags: submissions, wslink

Posted at: 07:21 PM | 0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink

Perdue's Owl Writing Lab

January 16, 2002

Great place for writers!

Tags: owl, writing-lab

Posted at: 07:18 PM | 0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink

Dictionaries and Word Helps

January 16, 2002

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language

OneLook Reverse Dictionary
OneLook's reverse dictionary lets you describe a concept and get back a list of words and phrases related to that concept. Your description can be a few words, a sentence, a question, or even just a single word. Just type it into the box and hit the "Find words" button. In most cases you'll get back a list of related terms with the best matches shown first.

Merriam-Webster Online

Right at the very top of the page that comes up is a strip all the way across the top of that page, that is the Thesarus.com search. Just enter a word and hit search.

A wonderful page of help links that contains
Phrase Dictionaries
Lexography and Lexical Data Bases
And many more things helpful to writer's here:

Columbia Encyclopedia Online:

Common Errors in English Usage - Paul Brians

Words and Expressions Commonly Mis-used

Commonly Confused Words

Grammar, Punctuation, and Spelling

Guide to Grammar & Writing

...at infoplease:


Where you'll find a plethera of helpful things.
Word quizzes, dictionaries, thesaurus' etc...

Worth a look....


Tags: dictionaries, word-helps

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