CYNOSURE

I admit to using the “synonym” feature in Word. It’s a handy little tool that I utilize to substitute a word in a sentence (or replace a word, swap a word, trade a word or interchange a word) that I feel I’ve overused. Usually I can come up with my own different word but that little synonym tool sometimes comes in handy although I will still choose the most common replacement and here’s why.

“The Grey wolf is the cynosure of the wilderness.” is the opening sentence in a blog that I just finished reading. “Cynosure” isn’t a word I use in my regular life and it isn’t one that I would use in anything I wrote. First, it sounds pretentious and second I’m not sure how many people would know what it means (a person or thing that attracts notice, especially because of its brilliance or beauty). It was on a ‘word-of-the-day calendar I once had so I’m familiar with the word but I appreciate that a lot of people might have to google it if I chose to drop “cynosure” into a sentence.

“The elk were deliberately traversing the field below…” This line threw me as well. Do these elk normally “traverse” a field unintentionally thus making this deliberation something unusual? Through context I established that the elk were slowly crossing the field…at least I think that was what the writer was trying to say. Why didn’t he just say it? While “deliberately” is indeed a synonym for “slowly” in this case it changes the meaning of the whole sentence, at least to me. Yes I suppose it is grammatically correct but sometimes you have to re-read what you write the way that a reader might…and this line just felt funny. Perhaps it’s just the way I interpreted it but I think others might read it the same way that I did and that’s not what the writer should want.

I don’t consider myself an expert writer but of all the good comments I’ve received on White Wolf Moon the one that pleases me most is that it’s “an easy read”.

An author should write for his market. My market just wants to escape into someone else’s world for a while…to be entertained and perhaps have a laugh or a cry. They shouldn’t have to work at figuring out what I have to say.

Okay my little rant is done…back to my book. Right now I have Evan traversing the scullery flooring surface en route to the coffee-manufacturing apparatus with the intent of filling a demitasse with his usual ante meridiem beverage.

wolf

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6 comments on “CYNOSURE

  1. sknicholls says:

    I didn’t even know wordpress had a synonym feature 🙂

  2. JP McLean says:

    I tend to agree. I don’t mind looking up words for technical reading, but when I’m reading for escape, I’d prefer not to lug the dictionary around.

  3. A great thing about being Greek: you’re automatically good at Boulderdash, since most weird words are, actually, Greek. 🙂

    Cynosures is one of them, although it literally means, “the dog’s tail.” It’s also the place of a notorious Athenean defeat. The Athenean fleet was routed when their generals (back then there were no separate ranks for the Navy) neglected to post guards.

    • Mike Grant says:

      Hmmnnn…good to know. All these years I’ve had the wrong definition. I wish I still had that calender although perhaps I mixed up definitions. Thanks Nicholas…never to old to learn new stuff!!!

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