What Are the Most Beautiful Words in English?

Beautiful Words
Beautiful Words

Scooped!

“The Most Beautiful Words in the English Language.” The article title jumped out at me on LinkedIn. Damn! Dana Dobson had scooped me! I had planned a blog post on just that topic.

Luckily, my fears were unfounded. To Dana, beautiful meant someone recognizing her as a public relations expert: “’Are you THE Emma Boldnoggin?’ he asks. ‘I’ve heard great things about you!’”

So instead of defenestrating me, Dana provided the perfect opening for my post—the old adage, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” (in this case, it’s more likely the ear)—as I ask,

What are the most beautiful words in the English language?
Read on to learn my Top 10.

An unscientific survey of my ebullient Facebook family and friends, as well as people I met out and about, revealed that everyone has the quintessential list on the tip of his or her tongue.

Continue reading What Are the Most Beautiful Words in English?

I (Used to) Hate Poetry!

 I Hate Poetry

I hate poetry.
Flowery phrases forming phlegmatic facets
Run-on sentences defying punctuation
Fragments with as many meanings as choices on a Chinese menu
Mixed metaphors, silly similes
Secret symbols must be deciphered
Why can’t a cigar be a cigar?

I hated poetry because I didn’t understand it. It seemed like poets went out of their way to make their ideas inscrutable. Maybe they did this on purpose to make themselves seem more important or to make their scholarly club more exclusive. Why, the lines didn’t make grammatical sense or form complete ideas. And talk about run-on! By the time you reached a period (if ever), you’d have forgotten the beginning of the idea!

Continue reading I (Used to) Hate Poetry!

The Writing Fail that Will Make You Sound Like a Kindergartner

TattooFAIL!
Tattoo FAIL!

Danger–Epic Writing Fail Ahead!

Writing ain’t easy–even if you love it. But at least you usually know whether you’re doing something well or not. One thing, though, might be slipping beneath your radar. If you don’t pay attention, it’s guaranteed to make your writing fail. See if you can figure it out before it’s too late. Here’s an example:

He wrote some lovely sentences. Those words sing clever news. I do hope that you read ’em all. They’re stuffed with everything!

Would you continue to read WowPow if I wrote like this? (Rhetorical question!) Did you notice how sing-song-y it sounded? But what exactly is wrong with the writing that makes it fail? Can you figure it out if I break apart the paragraph like this—?

He wrote some lovely sentences.
Those words sing clever news.

I do hope that you read ’em all.
They’re stuffed with everything!

Now the problem becomes evident—the sentences are all the same length. This gives them a regular, bouncy rhythm, not unlike The Cat in the Hat [Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss!] or “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Delightful when you’re a toddler, like my granddaughter, but not so endearing, otherwise. Now, I’ve created this extreme example as an illustration, but you’d be surprised how many writers unwittingly think in measured ideas. They might sail “in and out of weeks, and almost over a year” [Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are], have a minotaur at the center and be full of ten-dollar words, but if those sentences are all the same length—epic rhythm fail. [You make your own joke here.]

Continue reading The Writing Fail that Will Make You Sound Like a Kindergartner

Give Your Writing Creative Power with This Magic Number

Dies Irae
Dies Irae (Day of Wrath) Latin Requiem Hymn

What number do these have in common?

  •  mile limit of international law
  • Hector’s body dragged around Troy’s walls
  • geometrical figure regarded as perfect by the ancient Greeks

Did you guess?

Let me make it easier.

  • Cerberus
  • Shakespeare’s witches
  • Billy Goats Gruff
  • Goldilocks’s bears

Got it now?  Continue reading Give Your Writing Creative Power with This Magic Number

What’s the Story?

What's the story?
What’s the story?

Hi, Readers.

Getting this blog out on Thursdays isn’t working for me. Most of you seemed to prefer Sunday night, too. So, I’m returning to publishing late Sunday nights for Monday mornings. Look for my next post this Sunday/Monday.

In the meantime, I’m posting a photo here as a story prompt. Here are some ideas, but don’t limit yourself to them:

What is happening here? What has just taken place? What is about to occur? Create a realistic story, a fantasy, a fairy tale or a horror tale. How did these figures/puppets get here? Are they sentient or simply dolls? Tell a story in which the figures are not what you’d expect. Make them main characters or minor props. What role does the setting play in your story? When and where does the story take place? Make the mood be as it appears in the photo or change it drastically. Add a specific item that changes everything. Who will tell your story?

Have fun with this! I can’t wait to read your work!

Email your story to Susan@CreativePowerWriting.com. I’ll print the most original, interesting stories in a future blog entry.

Photo Credit: Pasquale Vitiello via Magdeleine