I’m obsessed with words. Have been ever since I was around age nine. While other kids were reading R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books, I was busy reading Roget’s Thesaurus, fascinated with how many ways there were to say ‘concise’ – terse, pithy, epigrammatic, curt, succinct, abrupt, need I go on? It made me feel special when I could confound my elementary school friends using sophisticated-sounding words.
Is it any wonder I became an author?
I believe words have great power. They can rouse a crowd to action, they can bring you to tears, they can live forever in your memory. I mean, who doesn’t remember Renee Zellweger's line to Tom Cruise, “You had me at hello” from the movie Jerry Maguire?
So it’s probably no surprise that, as an author, I’m currently obsessed with the game Words With Friends. (My fellow Fierce Romance blogger Natasha Moore can attest to this, LOL). Remember the news report of actor Alex Baldwin being thrown off an airplane waiting to take off because he refused to turn off his cell phone in the middle of an exciting game of Words? I’m almost as bad.
Currently, I have something like 22 games going with 6 different people. Whenever one of us wins or loses and I want a rematch, I often get that dreaded message, “OOPS! You have too many active games” to start another one.
Playing with my aunt is the worst (or the best, considering your perspective). She taught English in college, and we get into some fast-and-furious, exhilarating games. When I play with her I need at least an hour free, because no matter what time of day I send her a word, she’ll answer me within 15-seconds. I think she must have her iPad Velcro-ed to her hip or something. The highest score she ever had against me was 102-points for the word ‘cistern.’ Yep, she landed on a triple letter and triple word for that one!
Although… I must admit the game sometimes has a tendency to go too far. My frustrated brother quit playing with me after I posted the word ‘vert’ to win a game. I got a text back from him saying ‘What the heck does ‘vert’ mean?’ To which I replied, ‘I don’t know…I think it’s the opposite of ‘revert.’ I haven’t spoken to him in a week.
In defense of my obsession, I will say that I HAVE learned several new words (something this wordsmith never thought possible). I don’t know where I’d ever use these, but degum, gink, dree, copal, volant, quern and djin are now part of my vocabulary. Those jewels are courtesy of my sister-in-law, although personally I think she uses Scrabble Cheat to come up with them. I mean, degum? Really? Is that a word a person uses in everyday conversation? On the other hand, she IS a mother of two active boys, so maybe she’s had to de-gum their clothes from time to time… At least I *think* that’s what degum means.
I hope whoever invented Words With Friends is now a gazillion-aire. He/she definitely deserves it. The game is addicting, mesmerizing, enslaving, habit-forming, darn it there I go again! See? I’m obsessed with words. Thank goodness I picked the right career for it.
What about you? As a writer, author or reader, do you love words? Do you play Words With Friends?