Sunday, October 14, 2007

Ways to Say "Go"

Being a writer makes you develop certain habits of mind. One that has been fun to develop is sensitivity to how saying the “same thing” with different words enriches the tone or feeling of a piece of writing. I started collecting ways to say “stop” recently and got up to ten while I was waiting for the optician , including “halt,” :freeze,” “cease,” ”stifle yourself,” “stow it,” “quit it,” and “enough, already.” Your Jewish mother will not say, “Halt!” while that LAPD officer will not say, “enough, already.” If you think about situations where a character would say stop in one of these ways, most of the time only that one choice would work. So making a list like this helps you to be ready with that perfect word choice when you write.

That made me think of a new challenge for you wordsmiths out there: how many words meaning “go” can you find? A prize will be awarded to the winner with the most different words!