Making the World More Understandable
Provocative Words

Provocative Words

Welcome to my “Ode to the Thesaurus.”

One of my favorite Facebook pages is The Writer’s Circle. I always seem to glom onto their lists of Other Words For <fill in the blank>. I’ve several of them clipped into my Blog Ideas notebook in Evernote. One I’ve been looking at a lot lately is for “walk” or “go.”

Initially, you might be surprised at all the words on the list. However, think about all the different ways people walk. Forget people, think of all the different ways you walk!

How many ways can you walk?
How many ways can you walk?

I suspect that you generally stroll through the park, unless being chased by a clown, in which case you’re more likely to skedaddle, scram, or tear out of the park.

Do you lope, limp, or lumber? Personally, it depends on my mood.

My sister says I strut, but I think of it more as striding.

I suspect only a true cowboy know the difference between a mosey and an amble, I like both.

With so many options for how a person puts one foot in front of the other, think of all the various words we have for emotions. This isn’t just a list, it’s a grid of various emotions felt to different extents. (A chart of words, what more could an Engineering Word Nerd ask for!)

While I’d put Zippy in the Medium section of Happiness instead of Strong, it is a sweet collection. For example, are you thoroughly flummoxed or just bit unsettled? Instead of angry, are you infuriated, irate, or irked?

Can you swing from sunny to belligerent in two seconds flat?

I must say, though, that I’m a tad disappointed at the lack of entries for physical pain. After all, from an itch to agony, how we feel physically has an unutterable impact on our emotional state. On the other hand, I’m ecstatic that nonplussed is nowhere to be found. I also wish more positive emotions featured, then I could have lots more fun in this section.

Did I mention the 101 alternates to amazing? It is a glorious collection of spectacular adjectives.

All of the words I’ve put in bold evoke a different image, from each other or the basic words they replace. Let’s see, I’ve hit: walk (repeatedly), confused, angry (a couple of times), happy (more than once), pain, and amazing.

And isn’t evoking an image the point of words?

I think the most contradictory thing about the human species is that we think in images but we cannot converse in them.

Thus concludes my “Ode to the Thesaurus.”

-Lorrie Nicoles

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