Friday, July 12, 2013

Writing Social Faux Pas

Today my teenaged son informed me that the use of the word 'lovely' in speech was never done. I made the grave mistake of using it to describe the swimming pool we had just swam in.  As a teen, he is bound by pride and tradition to inform me when I have committed a social faux pas and the use of rarely used words is one of them.

But in my head, I was rebelling. In my head, I was thinking that I have used the word lovely in writing numerous times. In fact, it is one of my favorite adjectives. As a writer, I am blessed with the ability to write seldom used, potentially social faux pas words. Ahhh, what a double blessing this writing gig is. Not only do I get to make up stories, but I'm also able to expand my use of the English language.  Mmm, life is good.

What other words can I type out publicly, for the whole wide world to read, that must be hidden within my vocal cords when in contact with others? Let's see, how about whimsical, gracious, nonsensical. Oh, and old school expressions: Holy Moly, Good Gracious, Holy Macaroni, and Hot Dog!  Then there are ways to describe good-looking men from Grandma's day: tall cool drink of water, cheesecake, cat's meow.  Ten cent words: misanthrope, austerity, clodpate and maunder. Have you ever told someone to take a short walk off a long pier?  Me neither, but I've seen it written.  Boy, the fun of writing the words that can't be spoken is a treat unto itself.

So now I'm wondering what other professions have hidden perks?  Things not allowed in public (especially with a teen nearby) that will get you banished from polite society, but are welcome in with your business constituents.

Oh, I just used the word constituents! Bet that is a word you seldom hear but have often read. The joy of writing will never cease.

Heather Leigh

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