Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wrong Word

I misuse a lot of words.  Not a particularly great trait for a writer. 
For instance.  The word lightening.  Well, see, for years I used this word to describe those bolts of electricity that flash across a dark sky.  But that word is actually 'lightning'.  Lightening is what you do when you add white to navy to produce robin's egg blue.  My bad.  I still get confused occasionlly.  Then I just write something like 'A flash of light lit up the night sky.'  I think I learned this trick from my mother.  A letter from her came the other day and she'd crossed through physician four times and finally wrote 'doctor'. 
An edit of Bigfoot Blues came back the last time I read at The NW Arkansas Writer's Group and four people had circled hyperthermia.  Evidently I meant to write hypothermia.  Huh.  I learn something at every one of those sessions.
The reason this contemplation of words came to mind is that I got an email from Ozark Writer's League asking for a form to be filled out in order to be listed in their quarterly magazine for having had a book, Redneck Goddess, published and a short story, Ozark Child, included in an anthology.  Well, this is all good and I'll eventually fill out the paperwork.  But the form is labeled Kudos and I'm easily distracted.  So I got thinking. 
See, I always thought kudos meant thank you.  Which, I now understand, it most certainly does not. It means congratulations.  So, all this time I've been using the word incorrectly.
So, when a friend went to the trouble to bake me a cake for my birthday, presented it to me with a smile and said "I baked you a cake!"  and I said, "Well.  Kudos to you."  I wasn't actually saying thank you, I was being an accidentl wise-ass. 
I get a number of expressions wrong too.  Like 'It's a doggie dog world."  That's not right, is it? 
Or, "I need that like I need a hole in my head."  Well,  I actually have a hole in my head.  Several of them.  The expression is supposed to be 'like I need another hole in my head.'  I'm pretty sure that's right.
The other day I told my husband it was raining cops and robbers.  Even I know that's not right. 
This kind of thing runs in our family.  My sister, atleast once in every phone call, tells me something is 'atypical' when what she means is 'it happens all the time.'  I find this hillarious because I love to laugh at others when I catch them in a mistake that I myself make a dozen times a day without realizing it.

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