Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Right Word



"The difference between the right word and 

the almost right word is the difference   

between lightning and a lightning bug."  

Mark Twain 



I was going to elaborate a bit on this quote but, well, 

it kind of delivers its own punch, doesn't it? 


I came across Mr. Twain's words recently

and knew I had to share them!

What two things would you use to compare the right and almost right word?

Have any other good writing quotes to share?


Have a great weekend!

Karen


*I think it appeared in Hope Clark's newsletter Funds for Writers.

Photo credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1034094

38 comments :

  1. Very true. I love finding that just right word!

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  2. The difference between a breeze and a hurricane?

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  3. I found the use of these two words 'conflict' and 'combat' in this quote, very interesting.

    “Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional.”

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  4. Hi Karen -

    I can't think of anything at the moment, but I love the quote. Very effective.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  5. It's like food. When you dig into a dish expecting a certain flavor and it's just not there. Sort of like trying white chocolate for the first time. Why is it called chocolate anyway? There's no cocoa in it. Why not call it white delight? (Although I don't think there's anything delightful about it.)

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  6. Laura,
    There's just something so satisfying about it, isn't there?

    Diane,
    Love that one! Used to live in southern NJ and we experienced a similar contrast with storms. There is a difference! :)

    Joy,
    Wow, now there's a good one! Glad you shared it. I need to remember that one.

    Susan,
    I know, it just hit me and I knew I wanted to share it!

    Carol,
    Have to agree with you here. Not a giant fan of white chocolate. Although my daughter likes it. Beauty in the eye of the beholder! lol

    Blessings all,
    Karen

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  7. Absolutely true. At times we have to struggle to get the right word.

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  8. Love that quote! Thanks for sharing.

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  9. Great quote! And even the right word can become wrong if it's overused.

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  10. Hi Linda .. a hole in the brain - that's what I feel .. really frustrating sometimes!

    Love the quote and your thoughts on the subject .. and the pix .. cheers Hilary

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  11. Sometimes finding the right word is a breeze. Other times it's like running through a hurricane. LOL. Okay, I'm being silly. Or is that fastidious?

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  12. Rachna,
    Yes, and I think we are always working to get it just right.

    Annie,
    You are welcome. It just really hit the nail on the head, you know?

    Alex,
    Oh my yes, you are right! Very good point!

    Hilary,
    I have weeks like that sometimes too. Hang in there, friend!

    Joylene,
    LOL! No you are not being silly; I think you may be on to something!

    Happy weekend,
    Karen

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  13. We had a spectacular lightning show during a hail storm here last night, and Mr. Twain's point has never been clearer. Now to find all the right words......

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  14. It's rare that I find the right word the first time. During the edit phase I spend my time filling the page with precious pearls!

    Love the quote:)

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  15. Love this! It would be like the difference between a nap and a good night's sleep:)

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  16. Or the difference between carob and chocolate???

    Here's a writer's quote I like: “I love being a writer. What I can’t stand is the paperwork.” –Peter De Vries

    Have a great day...

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  17. So true! Maybe it's similar to the difference between a plate of liver and onions and a white chocolate mocha from - you know, that one place we try to accidentally drop our handkerchiefs at? :)

    Great analogy!

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  18. Yat-Yee,
    Yes, I can see how that would drive the point home! Glad you are okay. :)

    Tamika,
    Ah, I know, this is true. Precious pearls - I like that!

    Terri,
    Now there's a good combo! Nothing like a good night's sleep. :)

    Kenda,
    Good one! I do prefer chocolate. :) Love the quote, thanks!

    Rhonda,
    Goodness, yes, believe you hit the nail on the head! Where is my hanky, anyway?

    Blessings all,
    Karen

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  19. Or how about the difference between liking someone and loving them, the latter being electric, much like lightning. :-)

    Blessings, Karen.

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  20. Great quote. Finding the right word is so satisfying...and being unable to hit on the right word is frustrating as all get out!

    As a kid I used to sing the Christmas song Winter Wonderland this way: "Later on we'll perspire as we dream by the fire." The word should be "conspire," of course, but "perspire" made so much sense! LOL

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  21. Janette,
    Now there's another good one! Good thinking. :)

    Lisa,
    I know what you mean! But we build character in the process, right? lol Like your version of that song!

    Happy weekend,
    Karen

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  22. So true! It can make such a massive difference.

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  23. I like the quote. To me the difference between the right word and an almost right word is the difference between a chuckle and a belly laugh. (please forgive me, Mr. Twain.)

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  24. I've read that one. It is sooo good. Twain had a lot of great quotes. My favorite is from YA author Cory Doctorow:

    "Writing is like driving a car at night. You can never see farther than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way." I have had that right beside my computer for three years or so. (((hugs))) Amigo!!!!! Happy weekend.

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  25. Talli,
    I think it makes our writing shine. Or flash, if you go by Twain's quote!

    Cecelia,
    Very good, love this one! I think Mr. Twain would understand, don't you?

    Robyn,
    Love this quote! I need to write it down and keep it close by. Thanks, amigo, for sharing it! :D

    Happy weekend,
    Karen

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  26. How a bout the difference between good enough and great. I love Mark Twain quotes. They are timeless classics.

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  27. I think that is so true - and searching for just the right word can be tough. Also the way the word is said is important - the same word can mean different things depending on the way you use it!

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  28. Thank you for that quote. I had a quite a laugh, and I can't think of anything as good right now!

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  29. Stephen,
    Exactly! Yes, Twain's quotes often really hit dead on. Good thing, he is a writer after all...

    Sandie,
    This is so true! And how about when we are speaking, the inflection we use too? :)

    Lydia,
    Happy to make you laugh; it's a good start to the weekend!

    Blessings all,
    Karen

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  30. Awesome quote to think about and put into practice more often. Hope all is well and you have a super weekend! :O)

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  31. The difference between a rain drop and a monsoon. ;D I love Twain's humor and quotes. I wish I'd been able to get into his books more, but the only one that ever held my interest was a Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Go figure.

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  32. Diane,
    I agree with you! One to think about, that's for sure.

    Victoria,
    Good one! I think Twain would approve. :)

    Have a great weekend,
    Karen

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  33. Hello Karen,

    I've not had a chance to read blogs lately, but it's always good to stop by...

    Here is my best example of ALMOST the right word:

    I have an uncle who has a way of using the wrong word. One day, his granddaughter, who was overdue to have a baby was taken to the hospital. He was telling someone about it and he said, "And if she doesn't have the baby by Monday, they are going to have to seduce her!"

    What makes these things even funnier is that he takes himself so seriously that when he discovers he's made a mistake he cannot laugh at himself. But that didn't stop his daughter (my cousin) and me from laughing until we cried when he wasn't around!

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  34. This is SO TRUE. And finding that right word is a whole 'nother story...

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

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  35. OMG, Thanks for sharing that, Saloma! Malapropisms make my day and that's a GREAT one. I'm still laughing.

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  36. Sometimes I'll sit for way too long trying to find the right one. Stephen King says the first word to pop in your head is usually the right one. While that's usually true, sometimes I pick one knowing it's not the one I want, and I have to think and tinker for a bit.

    Here's a Twain quote I like:

    "Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear."

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  37. Saloma,
    Good to see you! I know you've had a lot on your plate with your books. Thanks for sharing that one - too funny! :)

    Angela,
    How right you are! Always wondered if it would be acceptable to use the word "'nother" in our writing. :)

    Victoria,
    I'm chuckling over that one too! And to say it in all seriousness, oh my. Reminds me of Amelia Bedelia...

    Theresa,
    Yes, I know, me too. I like King's point, but like you, will tweak sometimes too. Thanks for the quote!

    Happy weekend,
    Karen

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  38. I think it's like the difference between ice cream and diet soda. One entertains my tongue just right; the other, well...

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your input. Have a blessed day!