Word of the Day — Ism

Ism.  A small word that’s more of an ending in some instances than an actual word. However, a word it is.

Ism. Running through the dictionary tonight after thinking about every word that ends in those three letters, I’ve yet to find a word that has a good meaning with -ism attached to it. Racism, antagonism, egotism, extremism, fanaticism, totalitarianism, alcoholism, nationalism, communism, fascism, absolutism,  sexism,socialism, Darwinism….. and some would add in Impressionism and Cubism. I would definitely agree with Cubism, I just looked it up.  Whoo, that is a bit scary.

ism

noun \ˈi-zəm\

: a belief, attitude, style, etc., that is referred to by a word that ends in the suffix -ism

1
:  a distinctive doctrine, cause, or theory
2
:  an oppressive and especially discriminatory attitude or belief <we all have got to come to grips with our isms — Joycelyn Elders>
It’s funny how isms usually do not mean something good.  Speaking of good, if you add -ism to the end of good, does the word cancel itself out?  There are a few -ism words out there that do not mean something that is negative, but very few.  It’s amazing how such a small word can make such a big difference.
It’s like that Delta Air Lines commercial ‘Up’. As the first lines say, “Up, a short word that’s a tall order,”. Think about that. Oh, and because I love the commercial, even though it doesn’t relate to -ism, I wanted to include it.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lm6iyOq0v-Y

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Word of the Day — Chartreuse

Now that's a chartreuse dress!

Now that’s a chartreuse dress!

Ah, color. Apparently this is a color week what with lavender, puce, and now Chartreuse.  There used to be a Crayola crayon that was chartreuse, then I think they retired that name, but I loved using it because it was oh so French.  And a very pretty color.  Why that color today?  Well, driving to the vets yesterday, there was one field that was completely this color. A gorgeous bright spring green. Neon knock  your socks off.

char·treuse

noun \shär-ˈtrüz, –ˈtrüs\

Definition of chartreuse

:  a variable color averaging a brilliant yellow green
OR

Chartreuse trademark

—used for a usually green or yellow liqueur
And another meaning of the word via Wikipedia because I’m too lazy to write it out tonight.  Plus I have All Quiet on the Western Front and a Maisie Dobbs book I want to get into before bed.

Chartreuse (US /ʃɑrˈtrz/, /ʃɑrˈtrs/ or RP /ʃɑːˈtrɜːz/;[2] French pronunciation: ​[ʃaʁtʁœz]) (the web color) is a color halfway between yellow and green that was named because of its resemblance to the green color of one of the French liqueurs called green chartreuse, introduced in 1764. Similarly, chartreuse yellow is a yellow color mixed with a small amount of green that was named because of its resemblance to the color of one of the French liqueurs called yellow chartreuse, introduced in 1838.[3]

I love using or thinking about using this color word partly because it’s fun to say. But it means some of the prettiest greens out there. Like the word mint. I love mint because it’s such a pretty color, or celery green. Yes, I love greens. So, when was the last time you thought about the color chartreuse?
Signing off
~Kate
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Word of the Day — Puce

I think I first payed attention to this word from Monsters, Inc. when Sully has to go find the files that Mike was supposed to file and he mentions the color puce.  Puce.  Such a fun word to say, but it brings to mind more puke than a good color.

puce

noun \ˈpyüs\

Definition of PUCE

:  a dark red

Or

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Puce (variant spellings: “puse”, “peuse” or “peuce”) is a dark red or purple brown color,[2] a brownish purple [3][4] or a dark reddish brown.

It’s actually not that pretty of a color and puke could be puce…..  I can see why the Origin of it is this

Origin of PUCE

French, literally, flea, from Old French pulce, from Latin pulic-, pulex — more at psylla

First Known Use: 1833
If you see fleas, they kind of have this color.  Especially when filled with blood.  Okay, so while it’s a fun word to say, I am grossing myself out.
Hi there, everyone at wordpress.  Am I getting you in the mood today?  Haha!  Below is the color. I’d say more mauve, but hey.
PuceHow to read this color infobox
About these coordinates     Color coordinates
Hex triplet #722F37
sRGBB  (rgb) (114, 47, 55)
CMYKH   (c, m, y, k) (0, 59, 52, 55)
HSV       (h, s, v) (353°, 59%, 45[1]%)
Source ISCC-NBS
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)

So, while I’m not sure I would ever use puce, feel free to for yourselves.

Signing off

~Kate

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A Writer’s Film

The-Magic-Of-Belle-Isle-Morgan-Freeman1Often, I keep track of films I watch that have a serious writer’s theme to the storyline.  Most recently it was The Magic of Belle Isle staring Morgan Freeman and Virginia Madsen. First off, I highly recommend this to any writer.  It’s a charming look at how imagination can and is a part of our lives, along with the story of a struggling writer. Plus it ends well and is a charming, charming story.

f03e818295b65975c3f4c94054b4314dOne of the things that got to me most about the film was the relationship Morgan Freeman’s character, Monte, has with his typewriter. At the start of the film he says “She’s a black-hearted whore, and I’m done with her.” Slowly, with the pushing of nine year old Finnegan O’Neil, he starts to write again and by the end of the film, you know he is back in sync with the machine.  There is a line where Finnegan asks Monte why he doesn’t use a computer.

Monte’s response. “I’m going to answer your question in return for blessed silence. Look at that machine. I like that you have to write a bit slower on a manual, I like the way it sounds, I like the way the letters bite into the paper, I like that you can feel as a genuine human being doing the work.”

Sometimes I forget the magic of using my typewriter. I haven’t had the inclination to pull out the Royal (he/she needs a good name instead of just Royal unless I want to envision Royal Wilder from the Little House on the Prairie series).  I actually haven’t had the inclination to do a lot of writing to tell you the truth.  However, whenever I see typewritten words or poems I just inwardly sigh in happiness. When I see someone using a typewriter I want to hug them. And when I see the love of a typewriter expressed in a film, it just makes me want to write to the screenwriter and thank them for making my day.  It doesn’t happen often, because honestly, there are not that many writer-esque films. So when I do see one, I pay attention.

1002004004848400Another film that made me want to start using my Royal (somebody help me name the darn machine) was Shadows in the Sun staring Joshua Jackson and Harvey Keitel.  Along the same lines as Monte, a line by Harvey Keitel’s character says Weldon Parish: “Typewriters make you think about the words you choose more carefully, because you can’t erase them with the push of a button. ”   (side note: great ideas, very cheesy film)

For some reason, even though I know all of this it’s nice to hear it in a film, or a book, or some random post. Little writer’s reminders are nice.

liberal_arts_2012Lastly, just because we are on the subject of writer’s films, I want to mention a new film that I HIGHLY recommend along with The Magic of Belle Isle.  This film is an independent film by actor Josh Radnor titled Liberal Arts.  I won’t go into a description because you can read about online everywhere. Just watch it.  If you love inspiration from all around, classical music, good humor, humor on life and college, and just an all around good feeling when you get done with a movie, then you need to see this.  It’s charming and you just want to meet Josh Radnor when you get done, especially since he wrote, directed and starred in the film.  So so very good.

One last thought.  I think the typewriter used in The Magic of Belle Isle was an Underwood.  I had the opportunity of having my grandfather’s machine, but it didn’t work and he ended up finding someone that liked those kind.  While I still wouldn’t really want one, man, those have got to be one of the coolest looking typewriters around.

Signing off

~Kate

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Word of the Day — Lavender

Lavendar flower

Lavendar flower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Apis mellifera & Lavandula angust...
Apis mellifera & Lavandula angustifolia in Belgium (Hamois). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

pantone_colors_spring_2011_lavender

A color, a plant, lavender is something that either makes you think of a sweet summertime floral scent, or a cool misty color. Known for a semi mourning color, because shades of purple and mauve have been traditional for half mourning, it also evokes the image of a little old lady. Or maybe it makes you think of twilight, not the book or film, but that time of night when the sun has set and the sky takes on shades of blue and purple. Lavender shadows on the snow. A field of lavender.

1lav·en·der

noun \ˈla-vən-dər\

: a plant with narrow leaves and small purple flowers that have a sweet smell

: the dried leaves and flowers of the lavender plant used to make clothes and fabrics smell pleasant

: a pale purple color

From my gushing, can you tell that I like the word lavender?  I do. I love the images it evokes.  I use it in poetry and descriptions abound with the word lavender.  The fact that it’s a color, a time of day, an herb, a scent, a feeling.  It’s such a useful word. And fun too. Maybe it helps that it’s Latin.

Signing off

~Kate

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Word of the Day — Aitch

Aitch.  Yes, surprisingly this is a word.  Though how you can say a sound is a word blows my mind.  Any guesses as to what aitch means?  No?  Don’t feel bad. I had to read the definition a couple times in the dictionary before it made any sense.  Guess the blonde hair was out in full force.

aitch

noun \ˈāch\

Definition of AITCH

:  the letter h
Yes, that is all it stands for.  The phonetic spelling of the letter H.  And today’s post is brought to you by the letter H.  Hat, hairy, and Hampshire.  Oh, pardon. In Hartford, Harriford, and Hampshire, hurricanes hardly happen…..
Unfortunately I’m not quite sure how I will ever use aitch in a sentence.  Maybe a poem… a la e.e. cummings.  Who knows.
So enjoy that bit of word trivia today.  Oh, and here is some other trivia…. hidden amongst this post.  This specific post is number 300!  Wow, I’ve written three hundred things? That is just not possible! Woo Hoo!
Signing off
~Kate
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Word of the Day –Nefarious

So first off, if you didn’t figure it out by the lack of word posts over the weekend, the Word of the Day feature is only a five day thing. I won’t be doing weekends just because WordPress is a quiet place for me on the weekend. So just Monday through Friday. Now onto the word.

Nefarious or not, I of course have to post a picture of 'Captain Hook'

Nefarious or not, I of course have to post a picture of ‘Captain Hook’

Nefarious. I think of that word and one person/character comes to mind.  Captain Hook.  I love nefarious. It’s a blast to say.

ne·far·i·ous     adjective \ni-ˈfer-ē-əs\

: evil or immoral

:  flagrantly wicked or impious :  evil

Ah, such a fun word to use for a villain.  And the only reason I choose Captain Hook is because of Once Upon a Time.  I’m sorry, but Captain Hook is a favorite villain of mine and nothing screams nefarious or dastardly (another fun word to use) like Colin O’donaghue’s Killian Jones/Captain Hook.  Maybe because I love the term ‘flagrantly wicked or impious’. Doesn’t that sound like Captain Hook?

Okay, so people, your challenge today….. Use nefarious, or dastardly, or both! in a story or in your daily vernacular.  I dare you. Come on, have a bit of some villain in you.

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Word of the Day — Whisper

WhisperOkay, so most of you are probably wondering why we are going with such a basic word.  Whisper.  The whisper of a kitten’s whiskers.  A whispering sigh.  “Why do you whisper green grass”, The Ink Spots.  A word that can hold so much in it’s meaning, yet it’s such a quiet word. It hardly says or does anything, but it means so very much.

whisper     verb \ˈhwis-pər, ˈwis-\

: to speak very softly or quietly

: to produce a quiet sound

OR

noun

: a very soft and quiet way of speaking

: a soft and quiet sound

: a very small amount of something

I think I use verb and noun equally.  I use this word all the time in poetry, especially if there is soft movement or a breeze.  It’s a delicate word that floats off your tongue and tastes like ice crystals.  Yes! Words have taste.

Want to see how much I use whisper?  Go to the main homepage of Kate’s Bookshelf and in the search box at the top, type in ‘whisper’.  You will see how much I love using that word.

Signing off

~Kate

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And the Phone Rang – Flash Fiction

The Phone

The Phone

The antique rotary phone rang with a blaring ring that was loud enough to wake the dead. Of course she bolted out of bed and reached for the receiver before another deafening brring could escape the damned machine.  A muffled “hello” was muttered into the mouthpiece as she fell back into the pillows.

God, why did Sears need to call to remind her that the repair was tomorrow?  Couldn’t the automated machine have called later?  And who in their right mind would want to have this phone by their bed?  It should be installed in a padded room where the sound would be slightly muffled.

No, she was not a morning person, and ringing phones did not help matters.

 

Rotary phones…. so much fun.  I happen to have one by my bed to try it out.  The above is a semi-autobiographical incident from this morning.  Okay, fine, you got me. It did happen, and it did not help that I had an antihistamine drugging up my system.

Signing off

~Kate

Word of the Day — Misanthropy

Ah, Sherlock Holmes.  One of the best places to hear cool words.  Especially the Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu  Sherlock redo, Elementary.  Gotta love a show where “John Joan” Watson is a gal who makes Sherlock think.

Okay, gushing aside, misanthropy was used in a recent episode and I love it.

misanthropy   [mis-an-thruh-pee, miz-]

noun

hatred, dislike, or distrust of humankind.
Sherlock was saying it was easier when he believed in misanthropy because then he could distrust everyone.  It was brilliant, and I think I may have to use that word just for the heck of it.
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