Wordy Wednesday

I picked up Michael Chabon’s Maps and Legends, Reading and Writing Along the Borderlands. I really, really wanted to love this book. Who wouldn’t? A creatively unique storyteller’s take on my favorite topics? No brainer.

Perhaps I’m too blue collar. The first essay, an exploration of books as entertainment, was a slog for me. I think it had to do with two things: references to people and books I was clueless about and having to stop every five lines to look up a word’s meaning. True confessions: I didn’t know what solipsistically, or ontological, or lambency or parturition meant. And I only kind of knew what decoct and saturnine meant. So instead of feeling edified, I finished the essay wearing a saturnine expression.

What are your experiences with encounters like this? What word choice responsibilities do writers have to their readers?

Or should I just suck it up and pay more attention to the Increasing Your Word Power section in the Reader’s Digest at my dentist’s office?

No Responses to “Wordy Wednesday”

  1. Maria

    The world becomes a lonely place of disillusionment if a solipsistic view is taken into account. I have chosen to ban that word from my vocabulary because you, my friend, are just too naughty and vivacious to be a mere figment of my imagination 🙂

  2. Anna

    I’m a big believer in not using a fancy word when a simple one will do. Otherwise it starts to be more about showing off than about getting your point across.