Friday, September 01, 2006

Words, words, words

When you make a living as an editor, you sort of become a word nerd.
I love words.
I love that words can sound beautiful (vermillion) or terrible (holocaust) or downright strange (widdershins). I love finding just the right word. (As one of my English teachers told me in grad school: "There are no true synonyms.")
Now I have a question. Do you distinguish between words like lucky, fortunate, and blessed? I have a pretty strong view of Providence, and I've heard some people disdain the use of lucky and fortunate. I know those words imply the rule of chance (or worse). But I'm still partial to fortunate. And I can't imagine using blessed all of the time. (For some reason it pops out of my mouth with a bit of a Southern twang.)
What words do you use? And why?


Blogger Will said...

I love words, too. In fact, Hamlet was my favorite Shakespeare play for years because of it.

I distinguish between lucky, fortunate, and provident, but I think I'm unusual that way.

I also distinguish between wonderful, fantastic, fabulous, and incredible.

Fri Sep 01, 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger Spring said...

I knew you were the person to ask after hearing you discuss fantastic and incredible at Taste of Thai. So how/when do you use lucky and fortunate?

Fri Sep 01, 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger Will said...

I'll say "Good Luck" to non-believing friends. Well, sometimes. I'll also say "Well, that was fortunate" in conversations with unbelievers, when talking about providence. In other words, I pretty much substitute it for religious verbiage when I want to hint to them that there's something greater at work in their lives.
It's kind of like saying at a dinner table of unbelievers, "Whoever made this cow was a genius!" :-)

Fri Sep 01, 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger Spring said...

And does it work? I feel like we're so used to hearing lucky and fortunate that they don't stick out. And that's the only reason that I think it might be good to use words like blessed.

Mon Sep 04, 02:01:00 PM  

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