Sunday, February 17, 2013

Bored, disinterested maybe...

It can be annoying to read a book and come across a word that you’ve never seen before.

That happened today as I was reading Ken Follett’s novel, Fall of Giants. One of the characters, Maud, discovered that conversation was stultifying. Hmmm. As a popular novelist, Follett does not need to impress us with such big words. Ordinary people do not speak this way. I was not expecting to need them, but the e-reader includes several digital dictionaries. On the e-reader, you just touch the word and the dictionary comes to your aid. The first dictionary did not know the word. The Oxford Dictionary described stultifying as “cause to lose enthusiasm and initiative, especially as a result of a tedious or restrictive regime…” Blah, blah, blah. C’mon Follett, you can write better than that!
He could have written that Maud became bored or disinterested. Of course, now that I know the word, I can’t wait to use it among a group of writers at a meeting where we might be discussing the chances of Justin Trudeau becoming Liberal leader. |”Sorry fellas, but I find this whole topic …uh… stultifying!” Seriously though, a good writer doesn’t need to insert big words to get the message out to the reader. Indubitably.

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