Monday, March 15, 2010

Makey up words

Do you ever use words that are not found in the dictionary? I'm not talking proper nouns for things found in fantasy novels, because it is pretty much a given that you have to do that.

I'm talking about verbs or adjectives that might be used in dialog or description to reflect either the voice of the character or your own writing voice.

I haven't done it yet, at least that I can remember, but have been tempted a couple of times. Let me give you an example.

Have you ever used absitively? It's a combination of positively and absolutely.

How about posolutely? Same words the other way.

The reason that I ask is that I sometimes hear words like this while talking to friends or acquaintances. (Yeah, I know I have weird friends, but they're mine after all)

I find that using words like this can add a bit of humor. If you are trying to give the reader a chance to rest from an intense scene, it can help them relax a little before you hit them with the next attack on their emotions.

Do you ever use made up words? What are your favorites?


  1. I make them up all the time. I write YA science fiction, so I make up the slang. In life with my friends I swear with ordinary words like stink, or spit on a stick, or bo-bo head. I think I'm just that much stranger than most.

  2. Your two examples would make good words. I tried using a made up word for a sound. One of my critique group members thought I’d made a weird typo while others couldn’t understand what I was trying to say. Needless to say, I removed the word and tried to rewrite the sentence to “show” the sound.

  3. My favorite is "studential." Adjective. Meaning, appearing to be a student. As in, "I wore my college sweatshirt, which made me look studential."

    I haven't used it in writing, but I've used it in conversation.


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