Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
- Napoleon

Friday, September 5, 2008

Un-Words

Would you believe that 'refiled' and 'unchosen' are not really words? (And don't talk to me about the Wiktionary. It's not a reliable source, yet.)

Seriously though. Typing along just now, and MS Word had a conniption over both words. Lucky me, I had them both in the same sentence no less. "He refiled the unchosen candidates." I could've sworn both were actual words. Merriam-Webster says they aren't. So do most other references. Feh.

Refile - to file again. Or once more. You file. After you take something out, and you want to put it back, you refile it. Right?

Ummm.... no.

Unchosen - not chosen. (It's even the title of a book I read once, but that's neither here nor there.) You have a bunch of things to chose from. The one you pick is your choice. The rest are unchosen. Seems reasonable. Doesn't it?

*shrug* So, I reworded the sentence. It was tighter the other way, but this new way works, too. Heaven forbid I use an un-word.

Have any unwords you use? What are your thoughts on the occasional un-word in books you've read?

Maybe I should write a dictionary of un-words so writers like me don't trip over them on occasion. ;o)

(Oh, and upon spellchecking this post, I've also learned blogger considers 'could've' an unword, too. Too bad, I'm using that one anyway. So there. =op)
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3 comments:

JenWriter said...

Pillowing!

Hahahaha.

Leatherdykeuk said...

summoner - one who summons (demons etc)

Travis Erwin said...

I tend to use words like this anyway. As long as the meaning is clear and it fits the voice of the story I say keep it. Don't let Webster limit your prose.