Word Nerd (or is that Geek?)

Cover of "Flip Dictionary"

Cover of Flip Dictionary

I am a word nerd. Or maybe a word geek.

As a writer I often hear the advice to keep it tight, keep it simple and move the story along. But sometimes I love to play with words. For the fun of it I’ll be writing and want to find the perfect word with the perfect definition of what I’m trying to say. Or an unusual word. Or a ridiculously flamboyant word.  I always have a thesaurus and dictionary at hand. But one of my favorite tools for doing this is the Flip Dictionary by Barbara Ann Kipfer, Ph.D.

In this book, I look up a boring, everyday word and voila la! There listed are sometimes dozens of other choices to choose from. I forget where I heard about this book but have used it repeatedly because it’s so quick and easy to use.

This is also a great way to increase your vocabulary since some of the listed words are ones that you rarely see and may not be sure of the exact definition. That leads me to look it up in the dictionary. Even if the definition isn’t exactly what I’m looking for, I can file that word away for future reference.

So, yes, I’m a word nerd. (I had originally titled this post as Word Geek and after looking up the definitions in the dictionary, decided that according to that, Nerd is a better word. Then I started reading the associated blog posts that popped up and, well, maybe you can figure it out!) Modern usage of words is constantly evolving as well, so this search for the perfect word can get complicated!

Do you play with words? What do you do to have fun with words? Which word would you use? Geek or nerd?

Remember to have fun!