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!

Collecting Beautiful Words

What is it about words that we find so beautiful?

Words have a power all their own

Words have a power all their own (Photo credit: Lynne Hand)



Some people collect stamps or comic books. I collect words. When I’m reading I will stumble upon a sentence or a quote or an entire passage that resonates with my soul. I know they are special when I can’t keep reading because these words feel so delicious that I can’t concentrate on anything else until I’ve gone back to them and let them wash over me.


Then I have to gather up those words. I type or write them to really absorb them. Some I have saved in a special file. Many I have written carefully in a beautiful journal so that I can take them out and savor their beauty over and over again.


I recently looked through my journal and some of these quotes I gathered decades ago and they still resonate. They never lose their power.


I make sure that I record where I found these little gems that speak to me. I want to make sure that I credit the author who has given me these gifts. And I do believe they are gifts. In fact, some of them touch me so deeply that I feel they were written just for me.


Do you collect favorite words?


The Marvel of the Written Word and Carl Sagan

My nephew posted this link on his Facebook page and out of curiosity, I watched this old video of Carl Sagan talking about libraries, books and the written word. For anyone interested in any of those topics, all of which are my favorites, watch and enjoy.

How do you feel about the written word? How has reading and writing influenced your life?

As for me, it’s time to get back to my writing!