Looking Glass Language

a word bird reflects on life & language

ghosting

photoNot everyone uses words in the same way, and Jennie Erdal shows the funny and frustrating effects of someone with a different take on what the ‘right word’ is, in ‘Ghosting’ (Canongate, 2004), her extraordinary book about life as a ghost writer.

“Once I used the word humility, as in ‘I felt a deep sense of humility‘ – to explain how Tiger had felt in the presence of a woman he very much admired and who had borne a heavy cross. I was confident he would love humility. But he didn’t.

‘Isn’t it the same like humiliation?’ he asked.
I thought: up to a linguistic point, Lord Cropper. But what I said was:
‘I think humility is the right word in this context. It’s to do with feeling humble in comparison to her strength and courage.’ He wasn’t convinced.
‘Humble…humble,’ he said, trying it out for size, ‘no, it’s not good for me.’
And then, with the thoroughness of a lexicographer, he did an eyes-closed sift and search for the right word. When he found it, he said:
‘I’ve got it! I’ve got it! Foreboding. Listen – “I felt a deep sense of foreboding.” It’s much better. Write it down.’
This is Lewis Carroll territory, I thought.”

Reading ‘Ghosting’ was partly what inspired me to set up this blog: it spurred my interest in the particularities and peculiarities of people’s spoken and written language. Of course, the blog is a living thing and will evolve over time, but it will always, I hope, reflect on the world of words. Be great to have your thoughts and contributions.

Single Post Navigation

Comment here

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Adventures of Hal

Fran, Gareth and friends explore the world on Hal, our 35ft yacht

Things I think about while I drive to work

Random topics and conversation about how I view the world I live in

Curiouser & Curiouser

My curious little blog.

Knowingly Undersold

Selling discount truths at an exorbitant price! (Wrap your mind around that one)

David Baker's Novel Factory

Novel = New, Work of Fiction: Fact + History = Factory

A Road Travelled Twice

Twice across Europe by bike and more

Mike and the Marathon

I’m running the 2013 London Marathon for ICAN

A Few Kind Words

adventures in language and life

'er-in(doors)*

a word bird reflects on life & language

Helen Weavers's Blog

Stuff I think about...

The Seatonist

Dreaming of waves...

Where's my ruby slippers?

There's no place like home. Especially if you don't live there.

fortewinks

Letters from London by Giovanna Forte

Fromage Homage

A British Isles Cheese Odyssey

%d bloggers like this: