Thursday, July 22, 2010

Definitions may vary - writing tip

There is a difference between the dictionary definition of a word, and the connotation it takes on in a reader’s mind. For instance the dictionary defines “bad” as objectionable, offensive action or behavior, spoiled food, etc.

But if one character says of another, “He’s one bad dude!” Bad may actually be interpreted as good. Because the character when described as “bad” in the Leroy Brown sense of the word, is understood by the reader to be strong, reliable, quick to defense, able to defeat adversaries, and so on.

Do you see what I mean about the difference between the dictionary meaning and the meaning that may be invoked in a reader’s mind by the way a word is used?

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