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Thread: Big Words?!

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    SuckLead's Avatar
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    Big Words?!

    I need to blow off steam, so here it is.

    Ok, back story. I use a site for writing that I add short stories and poetry and essays and all that good crap to. People read the stuff and they can rate/review your piece.

    Ok, so I am working on a short story, my first attempt at fantasy. I posted my second attempt at the first chapter, it's really a prologue, a history of the main character since he is an odd combo of fantasy races. I want to establish how he came to be. It isn't done yet, I only posted part of it because it is going to be longer than my normal short story chapter, it may even become novel length at some point. But right now we're just testing the waters.

    I explain all of this at the start of the story.

    So the first line of the story is this: "Evening was turning the sky a brilliant kaleidoscope of colors: blues, purples, and oranges broken by gray shadowed clouds."

    I have gotten my first bit of "advice" about writing the story. Here it is:

    This is just me but you almost lost me on the word kaleidoscope, using big words generally slows down the reader. This is esspecially true if they don't know what the word means. Maybe I'm just a minority of people who don't know what a kaleidoscope is but I've been pasting that word because I know I'd get it wrong if I spelt it. I suppose long story short if you use big words your audience has to interpret.

    So, I don't know about you all, but I had a kaleidoscope as a child and I knew what it was called. I never saw this as being a "big word" before. And either way, when was the last time you read a book or story that was totally devoid of "big words?" With the exception of those with kids who read children's books to said kids.

    This comment just totally blew me away, and once again I am left wondering about the future of this entire planet. What adds to the anger of this is that this person down rated the story because I used big words in it. I'm sorry, but instead of down rating a story for using big words, why don't you just stick to children's stories that you can understand?!

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    john doe. is offline Banned
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    Write what you feel and let an editor tell you otherwise. Anyone with any basic knowledge should know what a Kalidascope is. Unless they were in public school.

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    john doe. is offline Banned
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    I just asked my eleven year old if she knew what a kalidascope was, she does.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tnoisaw View Post
    I just asked my eleven year old if she knew what a kalidascope was, she does.
    Oh, good! Someone else on another site told me I was getting old because I could see the obvious generation gap. LOL! Apparently this is not the case. And I could have sworn these toys were for sale this past Christmas.

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    Ya gotta understand it was probably a liberal reading it and they have major trouble with words that exceed one syllable

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    Quote Originally Posted by scooter View Post
    Ya gotta understand it was probably a liberal reading it and they have major trouble with words that exceed one syllable
    True, true! I always forget that!

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    You're off to a good start, don't worry about the peanut gallery. You should post up some of your stuff here.

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    Todd is offline Banned
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    Always looks at the source that is giving the criticism. Sounds like this person is better off reading at their grade level; something along the lines of Dr. Seuss or Richard Scary.

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    Maybe this is why the story of the Civil War has to be told to us in comic book style. I just read that the number one comic book was Marvel's series on the Civil War.

    Pictures seem to be easier for this generation to understand. You don't have to work quite so hard.

    I hope authors continue to challenge people with big, difficult to spell words. I'd hate to think about this generation that thinks it is acceptable to abbreviate every thing.

    Thnk U 4 shring. Stk 2 Ur lg wrds.

    WM
    Never argue with drunks or crazy people.

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    I'm a Spiderman fan - So I've read part of that Marvel series

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    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by scooter View Post
    Ya gotta understand it was probably a liberal reading it and they have major trouble with words that exceed one syllable
    +1 With Scooter

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    Well, regardless of that word, my ex-wife was a copy editor and writer. And, I do know she has said that U don't want to use overly complicated words.

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    Rule of thumb for newspapers used to be a 6th grade reading level? What is it now?

    For literature, the reading level should depend on your targeted audience. I would think Sci-fi & fantasy readers should be expected to have a higher than 6th grade reading level.

    WM
    Never argue with drunks or crazy people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuckLead View Post
    I need to blow off steam, so here it is.

    Ok, back story. I use a site for writing that I add short stories and poetry and essays and all that good crap to. People read the stuff and they can rate/review your piece.

    Ok, so I am working on a short story, my first attempt at fantasy. I posted my second attempt at the first chapter, it's really a prologue, a history of the main character since he is an odd combo of fantasy races. I want to establish how he came to be. It isn't done yet, I only posted part of it because it is going to be longer than my normal short story chapter, it may even become novel length at some point. But right now we're just testing the waters.

    I explain all of this at the start of the story.

    So the first line of the story is this: "Evening was turning the sky a brilliant kaleidoscope of colors: blues, purples, and oranges broken by gray shadowed clouds."

    I have gotten my first bit of "advice" about writing the story. Here it is:

    This is just me but you almost lost me on the word kaleidoscope, using big words generally slows down the reader. This is esspecially true if they don't know what the word means. Maybe I'm just a minority of people who don't know what a kaleidoscope is but I've been pasting that word because I know I'd get it wrong if I spelt it. I suppose long story short if you use big words your audience has to interpret.

    So, I don't know about you all, but I had a kaleidoscope as a child and I knew what it was called. I never saw this as being a "big word" before. And either way, when was the last time you read a book or story that was totally devoid of "big words?" With the exception of those with kids who read children's books to said kids.

    This comment just totally blew me away, and once again I am left wondering about the future of this entire planet. What adds to the anger of this is that this person down rated the story because I used big words in it. I'm sorry, but instead of down rating a story for using big words, why don't you just stick to children's stories that you can understand?!
    No offense to anyone, but I learned along time ago those who can't "write, etc" try to teach others...

    This persons response just shows that they were not taught to research. If you don't know a word, look it up. This society has gotten to the point of immediate gratification for all things. I must have it now (knowledge, wealth, power) because I'm to lazy or stupid to look it up or work for it.

    "Evening was turning the sky a brilliant kaleidoscope of colors: blues, purples, and oranges broken by gray shadowed clouds."

    The above passage is a very powerful visual for me.. Keep writing what is in you heart and mind and only listen to those who know the proper use of the english language.

    Ship, I agree that the use of overly complicated words can be problematic, but in what context. In the newspaper, magazines, yes, in a novel I don't agree. If true all of Shakespears works would have to be dumbed down to the level of this idiot.

    JMO I could be wrong...

    W

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    Quote Originally Posted by Waffen View Post

    Ship, I agree that the use of overly complicated words can be problematic, but in what context. In the newspaper, magazines, yes, in a novel I don't agree. If true all of Shakespears works would have to be dumbed down to the level of this idiot.
    Hey, I'm not trying to get sucked into this. I'm NOT even commenting on the kaleidoscope thing (nor am I saying that the word in question is overly complicated). Just throwing that bit of info out there. Never mind...
    Last edited by Shipwreck; 01-04-2007 at 02:34 PM.

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    john doe. is offline Banned
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    You go for it Sucklead! Let us know when you get published. I'll be the first one to buy it.

    +100 for Scooter.

    I for one have the dictionary booked marked for quick reference for myself and kids. My spelling sucks but can use big words. I even had an attorney ask me if I was an attorney once. I'm not sure if I consider that a compliment or an insult.

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    Well, speaking entirely for myself, I'd say stick with your sesquipedalian tendencies and don't overly concern yourself with bringing the vernacular to the laity.

    How else will anyone learn new words if they don't have to look one up every once in a while? Certainly not from any of the excrement oozing out of the boob-tube...

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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeSkies View Post
    Well, speaking entirely for myself, I'd say stick with your sesquipedalian tendencies and don't overly concern yourself with bringing the vernacular to the laity.

    How else will anyone learn new words if they don't have to look one up every once in a while? Certainly not from any of the excrement oozing out of the boob-tube...
    You would have fit in so well with me and my friends in college. We'd have complete conversations using huge words... only because it kept away people like the one who commented on my story. It worked well and helped out vocabulary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tnoisaw View Post
    You go for it Sucklead! Let us know when you get published. I'll be the first one to buy it.
    Oh, I will. I'm actually working on a book right now but it isn't going too well. The stories are real stories, but they were apparently a lot funnier when they happened. LOL!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wandering Man View Post
    Rule of thumb for newspapers used to be a 6th grade reading level? What is it now?

    For literature, the reading level should depend on your targeted audience. I would think Sci-fi & fantasy readers should be expected to have a higher than 6th grade reading level.

    WM
    When I was in school a few years ago for journalism they taught us to dumb it down to a point where every little thing was spelled out for the reader. We weren't given a specific reading level, but we were told to imagine our entire audience was on the verge of mental retardation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2400 View Post
    You're off to a good start, don't worry about the peanut gallery. You should post up some of your stuff here.
    I can give links to my writing if anyone is interested, but I won't take up space with it on the board. I think Ship would lay an egg if I did.

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    These are BIG words!


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    john doe. is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuckLead View Post
    I can give links to my writing if anyone is interested, but I won't take up space with it on the board. I think Ship would lay an egg if I did.
    Link away!

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    john doe. is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuckLead View Post
    When I was in school a few years ago for journalism they taught us to dumb it down to a point where every little thing was spelled out for the reader. We weren't given a specific reading level, but we were told to imagine our entire audience was on the verge of mental retardation.
    WOW! A journalism class taught you to image a room full of liberals! Cool! There is hope.

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    john doe. is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuckLead View Post
    You would have fit in so well with me and my friends in college. We'd have complete conversations using huge words... only because it kept away people like the one who commented on my story. It worked well and helped out vocabulary.
    One of my brothers is a member of Mensa. He’s got a pretty high IQ thus a larger vocabulary than most he was working with at the factor he use to work at. He told me that during a union meeting he was specking and someone from the back said, “Hey Steve, Why don’t you say words we can all understand?” My brother replied, “Because my vocabulary is larger than just four letter words.”

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