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Today I’m talking about definitions and with some fun examples of how they can change the meanings of whole sentences.


By Bebb, M.S. Wikimedia.com

The English language is nothing if not strange. Its homonyms and homophones can confuse anyone. Add synonyms to the mix and that’s a lot to learn. Here’s another twist you can add to the complexity of our language: the redefining of words throughout the ages. When I was a kid, sick meant you were ill, not feeling well as in “I’m too sick to go to school.” In the eighties, the word came to mean awful, terrible as in “She’s so sick. I hate her.” Today when the kids call something “sick” they’re not referring to germs, they’re making the word a compliment: “That concert was sick!”

As writers, we should consider the changing guard of words as a challenge and use them to add flavor to our books. This can be especially interesting if you want to put your out-of-time characters into a pickle when they try to communicate with characters from earlier historical eras.

Read these sentences I created using words that have changed over the years and see if you can figure out the real meanings. To continue reading click here and go to the SMP Author Blog site for the rest of the post.