A couple of days ago, I made a post asking for interesting, descriptive, and evocative words, terms, and phrases because I thought it might be a fun exercise. WELL. You'd have thought I asked for everyone's firstborn son to sacrifice at the altar of Satan or something. I got mockery, scorn, snide comments, an Ernest Hemingway quote chastising the use of 10$ words, and critiques of my writing style (without having provided any examples). A supposed "professional" outright laughed at me for suggesting that some words have more inherent descriptive power. I was also told that I should have just gone to a thesaurus, never-minding the fact that a thesaurus can't tell me what it thinks is an interesting, descriptive, or evocative word, term, or phrase.
If I'd wanted 10$ words, I would have asked for 10$ words. I do not litter my writing with 10$ words nor did I suggest anyone else should. I did not imply that interesting, descriptive, and evocative words, terms, and phrases are always inherently better to use than simple, easy, quick words. Yet all of those assumptions were made. This was, to put it lightly, discouraging.
I guess maybe I should have elaborated but I really didn't think that was necessary so here is some elaboration. Text wall incoming….
Some words have more descriptive power. Example: Cat. Cats can be big, small, all kinds of shapes and sizes, wild, domestic, or feral, and they can live almost anywhere on the planet. Panther. That narrows things down somewhat. Tiger. That's very specific; a big cat with an orange coat and black stripes living primarily throughout east Asia. Does this mean you always have to use "tiger" instead of "cat"? Of course not. Does it mean the word tiger is better? No. But it is more descriptive.
You might say "well that's just more specific." If a word tells you more traits about something, can it not be called more descriptive?
Interesting and evocative words:
Maybe I'm a frickin weirdo, I acknowledge that, but to me, some words just seem to have more oomph too them. Hollow is more evocative to me than empty. That doesn't mean I will always use the word hollow over empty. If empty fits better in context, then I'll use the word empty. It's common sense. But "hollow" is more powerful to me, especially when combined with other words:
Hollow heart, hollow bastion, hollow-minded, hollow home, hollow-eyed, hollow wind, hollow soul, hollowbane, hollow song, hollow words, hollow gape, hollow starlet.
Even the iffier-sounding ones can spin off fractals of creative possibility. Hollow wind. What is that? Wind can't be hollow. Well, what if it's a place name? Hollow Wind. Hollow Wind Hall. Hollow Wind Castle. Hollow Wind… Hollowin. Hollowynne? That sounds cool. Or hollowbane. What's that. Maybe it's a kind of plant. Maybe it's called hollowbane because it's glassy and hollow looking. Or maybe it likes to pervade hollows and crowd them out. Or maybe it's a sword. Maybe the sword is hollow or looks hollow. Hollow Bastion is a level in Kingdom Hearts (videogame) and for some reason, that name always stuck with me. Hollow song? A nice-sounding but meaningless song. Or maybe it makes you feel hollow when you hear it. Hollow starlet? Empty-headed pop-singer? A woman who's had all the creativity and originality scooped out by the grasping, greedy fingers of Hollywood?
I also like the way it sounds and looks. You could just as easily use the word empty in a lot of those examples; empty-eyed, empty heart, empty words and it wouldn't make much of a difference in meaning but you'll probably agree that hollow sounds better in at least some of those examples; empty sword, emptybane, empty bastion… just doesn't have the same oomph. At least to me. Maybe you disagree…. which was why I asked other people's opinions. I wanted to hear what words YOU find interesting or evocative or especially descriptive.
Maybe someone would have thrown out the word trundle. Lots of things come to mind; an old car trundling by. An armadillo trundling past. An old man trundling around. Trundle is evocative to me. It tells you the car or man is going by in a slow and/or belabored manner. "Trundle" can also hint at the state of something or someone. People and certainly vehicles don't usually trundle unless there's something wrong- ailment, disrepair, age, burden, etc. Or maybe someone would have said "opalescent". That word immediately calls to mind images of pearls, elegant gowns, swan feathers, moonlight, seashells, finery, and such.
I think soliloquize is a damn neat word. I like it. I've never yet had a chance to use it but I may yet someday and I'm glad I know it when the time comes. I don't like the word vituperative. I can never remember what it means, 99.999% of readers wouldn't know what it means, it sounds stupid… now I have to look it up again FFS… Vituperative: bitter and abusive. Hm… You could have a smarmy know-it-all character use a word like that. "I find your vituperative demeanor appalling and counterintskdnfk nope. Fuck that word. I hate it. Not sorry. I don't like "truculent" either for some reason.
Nuisance. I like the word nuisance. What are some things that are a nuisance? Insects. Especially mosquitoes. Little brothers. Right now my cat is literally sitting on my shoulder drooling IN MY !@#$%&*ING EAR and though I love her dearly, she is a nuisance. You could say the sun is a nuisance, especially if you've made the egregious error of driving at just those particular moments when it seems determined to shine as hard as it can right exactly in your eyeballs.
Cascade. Probably a bit overused but I love it. A jubilant cascade of water. A cascade of brilliant light. Cascade of auburn hair. Corrosive, corruptive, solitude, masquerade, facade- none of those are ten dollar words but to me, they are all very evocative. Fragmentary. Flippant. Furtive. Sequester. Imminent. Ornate.
TL;DR: Some words have more descriptive power than others and some words are more evocative and interesting, though, opinions on that may vary which was why I asked. I never asked for "better" words or bigger words or more impressive words. I asked for what you think are more descriptive, evocative, or interesting words, terms, and phrases in your own personal opinions.