When I Forget the Words

Have you seen instances on television of celebrities, football players, and even olympians who don’t know the correct words to the Star Spangled Banner? Or, perhaps witnessed an interview of a person who got tongue-tied, searching frantically for just that right word?

Writers can write and rewrite on our computers until we get the words to flow just the way we want them. We can use a thesaurus and a dictionary to help us choose words and check on meanings. 

The Describer’s Dictionary by David Grambs is very useful. For example, say you want to describe the color black. The book gives these words: ebony, ebon, sable, jet, onyx, ink black, coal black, anthracite.  The book is divided into words for various Shapes, Patterns and Edges, Surfaces and Textures, Light and Colors, etc.

The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi includes all emotions in an easy-to-use alphabetical format that is further broken down into Physical Signals, Internal Sensations, Mental Responses, Cues of Acute or Long Term experiences of an emotion, emotions that specific examples May Escalate To, and Cues of Suppressed emotions. I especially like the Writer’s Tip which is provided at the bottom of each listed emotion.

If you know of any other resources that writers might find useful, please let me know. One I’d find extremely useful would be substitutions for adverbs. If there isn’t one out there, already, maybe this would be a project you’d be interested in taking on!


Murder She Wrote


For all of the plusses of a computer over the outdated typewriters—and we all know there are many—some of the drawbacks can be annoying. Writers, especially, must be vigilant in monitoring all of these “helps.”

For instance, don’t depend on the auto-correct function.

I entered the word yarn incorrectly, spelling it as yard. It was the wrong word, but since it was spelled correctly, the computer left it as I had typed it in. I found it later as I was rereading, but still…

Not long after that, I entered the word heart several times. Each time, I noticed the “t” disappear right before my eyes, leaving the word hear. I am not sure why this happened, but again, the word was spelled correctly, but definitely not the word I intended to use.

One last example: I wrote the name Jaxon. I am sure you’re not surprised to hear that it was auto-corrected to Jackson. No matter what I did, I could not get my computer to accept the altered spelling. 

I am sure there are ways around these difficulties—and many others—it just takes persistence in searching out the culprit and overriding the function. 

If you have run into other problems, or have the answer to the few I have described, please share your information.

Until then, type carefully. Reread often. Or, you want to get that old Remington out of the closet and create your manuscript the old-fashioned way!