There is more to creative writing than just making up stories and characters that often seem very real. In some ways making up stuff is one of the perks of being a writer. A writer can live in imaginary worlds and can even make up words such as scrutchel (a word I just made up which should mean: using a word that doesn’t exist as a crutch for not wanting to actually find one that means what you want to say).
Writer’s have been creating words for thousands of years. Dr. Seuss made up hundreds of words himself (zummers, spazzim, thnadners, sneedle, yuzz, thneeds, and sneetches to list just a few).
However, many words created recently by writers have become so common in our daily usage that we might be surprised to discover where they came from.
A list of words created by writers that I found in The Guardian had a couple surprises for me. For instance, I always thought Banana Republic was just the name of a store, taken from the slang description of any unstable dictatorship, usually in South or Central America. Not so. The word was created by the writer, O. Henry in 1904.
Check out the other nine words in this list some of them might surprise you. The top 10 words invented by writers.
Anyway, next time you write something, even if it’s just a note or memo to your boss, look for an opportunity to make up a word. You might be surprised how much fun it is.
Seventy-six years ago today Dr. Seuss’s first book, “And to Think I Saw It on Mulberry Street” was published.
It almost didn’t happen though.
After a 27th publisher rejected his first manuscript “And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street,” Theodor Geisel considered burning the book in his apartment incinerator. As he walked dejectedly along Madison Avenue in New York City, he bumped into Dartmouth friend Mike McClintock. McClintock was brimming with some very good news. That morning he started a new job as an editor with Vanguard Press in the children’s section.
When Geisel told his sad story, the new editor took the manuscript and said, “I’ll publish it!” Continue reading
Today marks the 22 anniversary of the death of Theodore Geisel, Dr Seuss.
Here are a couple things I found interesting about him. Although he was stepfather to his second wife, Audrey’s, two daughters, he fathered no children of his own. He didn’t really want any children. In fact, he didn’t even like to spend any time with them.
In an interview a few years ago his widow, Audrey, pointed out that he was a little afraid of them. She said he was always thinking: “What might they do next? What might they ask next?” She added: “He couldn’t just sit down on the floor and play with them.”
When Dr. Seuss was asked how he could connect with children in spite of not having his own, his stock answer was, “You have ‘em, and I’ll entertain ‘em.”
Dr. Seuss had permanent stage fright because of Teddy Roosevelt.
During World War I, 14-year-old Ted Geisel was one of Springfield’s top sellers of war bonds. Because of that he was to be given an award by former president, Theodore Roosevelt. Standing on stage in front of an audience of thousands, Ted was the last of 10 Boy Scouts waiting for the reward. A mistake was made and the president was only given nine medals. When he reached Geisel, Roosevelt gruffly bellowed, “What’s this little boy doing here?” Ted’s smile turned to shock as he was quickly ushered off the stage. From that day on Dr. Seuss dreaded any public appearance.