As writers we need to think about words that have diverse meanings, because that word could lead the reader ‘mentally’ astray. The reader may subconsciously associate a funny or a serious meaning with the character or action. The diversity is both dictionary and regional driven. For example, the word slug could mean a slimy mollusk that leaves a trail of goo wherever it goes. However, if you live in Washington D.C., you will more commonly hear this word referring to the many people who commute to work with strangers, in order that the car’s owner might use the HOV lane and get to work faster.
Think about the word joint which is dissimilar in noun, adjective, and verb form.
– a point at which parts of an artificial structure are joined.
– a structure in the human or animal body at which two parts of the skeleton are fitted together.
– informal, an establishment of a specified kind, especially one where people meet for eating, drinking, or entertainment.
– informal, a marijuana cigarette.
Adjective: shared, held, or made by two or more people, parties, or organizations together.
– provide or fasten (something) with joints.
– cut (the body of an animal) into joints.
What are some other diverse words:
Think about your ‘building blocks’; we can not write without them.
“I’ll sit here on the aisle seat to hear the isle commentary”, said George to Linda. “Why”, replied Linda. “That way I’ll be discreet; by not having to cross in front of you if I have to get up during the program, I’ll be discrete from you.” Linda just sighed, “Well at least you’ll be at my side!”
Thankfully, George did wait until the end of the program to get up; which took a weight off Linda’s shoulders. To make up for his behavior, George went into a flower shop, walked back four rows, and bought her a rose. It was a red rose, just like the one she had told him that she had read about in the novel. Of course George was glad that he made up for his guilt feelings with the flower, and not some gilt jewelry.
However, the most interesting event of the evening was on the way to a café, when at the coign of a building, Linda saw a dollar coin on the sidewalk. Bending down to pick it up, her blouse bow, being too tight, ripped; thus ending the night for the two of them. “I guess with a bad nock, interesting events do knock”, said George; Linda was not amused.
(A Bad Nock, © Steven S. Walsky, November 2018.)