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National Word Nerd Day

National Word Nerd Day: Celebrates Logophiles and Sesquipedalians for their Love of Words

Some people love having a word-of-the-day calendar on their desks. Others spend their free time reading a newspaper, writing and/or editing a manuscript obsessively, doing word searches or filling out crossword puzzles. But despite what you might think, those people are NOT word nerds. Well, not officially. National Word Nerd Day celebrates writers, editors and ahem. . . , all the “Grammar-Nazis” in the world. Cheers! Salut!


Why Many Editors Love National Word Nerd Day

On January 9th, of every year, prepare for an invasion of word nerds. National Word Nerd Day celebrates all the editors and wannabe editors who’ve made it their jobs to scrutinize words down to the letter; either officially or unofficially.

I’m not an editor by profession, but editing is part of my job as a writer. I’ve spent months writing a manuscript. Countless hours editing and killing off words, paragraphs and even characters. Then, in just a matter of a few minutes, I’ve decided not to publish a manuscript, trash the whole story and start over from scratch. Gone. Kaput. Blah.  Just another day in the life of a freelance writer.

But in less extreme cases, there are word nerds like me who just can’t let even one tiny grammar and punctuation error go unnoticed. Sorry, we can’t help it. We have to feed our unique attention to detail and perhaps, a little case of undiagnosed O.C.D.

As an aside, the whole time I’m writing this post, I can’t stop thinking about how my errors are probably in it. Touché! Word nerds, if you find any errors. . . be gentle? But please, be true to yourselves too. In celebration of National Word Nerd Day, feel free to share all your corrections with me in the comments below. (This should be interesting. . . yikes!)


Logophiles and Sesquipedalians are Word Nerds Too

My built-in autocorrect is going nuts on this post! I can hear it screaming at me. Are you sure that’s a word? Is that really what you wanted to write? Ok, then. I’m out of ideas. You’re on your own.

So, what happens if you don’t really qualify as a word nerd, but you want a weird holiday too? Well, you’re in luck. There’s a title for you too! In honor of National Word Nerd Day, I have an extra special knowledge treat for you.

Did you know that logophilia is the love of words?

I don’t know how logophilia isn’t already in my WordPress dictionary, but it is now. Add to dictionary. Done. That’s right. Logophiles love words. They have an emotional connection with words.  Are you one of those people?  Since you’re reading this post by a no-name blogger, I’m betting so.  Or, you’re just bored?

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Sesquipedalians love long words, among other things.  Not just any word but long words like supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, which actually means “extraordinarily good or wonderful”.  Did you know that?

To all the Sesquipedalians reading this post, brace yourselves!  Here’s another treat for you!



What’s the longest word in the English dictionary?

Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, otherwise known as silicosis, refers to a lung disease caused by inhaling too much mineral dust.  And with that, it’s official.  I will never study medicine.

But if there’s an official word to describe the sound of a person vomiting or sharting in one’s pants, I’m fairly certain that pronouncing pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis while holding your tongue comes very close to it.  Sorry for all those mental pictures, but have you ever tried to use pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis in a sentence?  Me neither, so I wanted to make my first try memorable and use it as much as possible.

So there’s the skinny on National Word Nerd Day, which is now officially on my calendar.  Is it on yours yet?

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I hope you learned something interesting from this post because I certainly did.  For starters, I think I’ll stick with writing and maybe even buy a Scrabble game or a new book of word searches.  Ciao!


Proofreading a Book

Proofreading a Book: The Most Stressful Relationship and Saddest Breakup

I’m not religious.  But I can honestly say there was a higher power with me while proofreading my recent novella.  I worked long hours to write the manuscript for Partners in Crime, but even longer hours to edit it.  And the number of peanut butter snacks I ate while writing should be a crime.  Every sentence, paragraph, and chapter tested my patience to the max.  I had fun writing the story, and I’m proud of the results, but arggh!


Quality Proofreading and Publishing Will Test Your Patience

Patience is a virtue.  But apparently, it’s not my virtue.  While proofreading my book, I threw things, chewed most of my fingernails off, learned a new vocabulary of cuss words, and almost gave up on it twice.

So, why did I endure such a stressful relationship for one manuscript?  One reason:  Publishing.  I pushed through the editing phase so my manuscript can sit on a publisher’s desk for the next 12 weeks, awaiting its next editing process.  That’s right.  I proofread my manuscript countless times just so someone else could too.  

Publishers proofread and scrutinize a story down to its deepest parts.  They cut and chop dialogue and scenes I worked on for days in half, or delete them altogether.  Even if my story sounded fine without editing, fine is not great.  And only great stories sell.  It’s that simple.


>>Choose a Traditional Publisher over Self-Publishing <<


Hurry up and wait.  Isn’t that the beauty of writing?  Write a story, then wait, and hope someone else finds it just as appealing as you did while writing it.  But that’s not always the case, is it?  Sometimes, it takes a little more work to create something worth appreciating and is marketable.


Writing the Story is the Easy Part

Even if you’ve never written anything before, it’s easy to start.  Write every day, about anything and everything.  You will get better over time.  Perhaps good enough to find a publisher.

Show don’t tell – is a common piece of advice given by publishers.  Publishers don’t want to know who and what as much as they want to know how.  How does the sky and the trees make the character feel on a stormy day?  How does the hero of the story save the girl?  By proofreading, a writer draws their reader into the scenes.  The reader builds a relationship with the characters and invests their own emotions into the story.

But I think there’s an important step in between writing and publishing, which a lot of writers skimp on and rush through:  proofreading.   As a writer, I know how easy it is to say, “That’s good enough”, but quality proofreading will take time.  If it doesn’t, it’s probably not quality.


Proofreading is Just as Important as Writing the Story

Like any relationship, proofreading and I have had our difficulties.  After spending so much time with my story prior to editing, we already had a love/hate relationship with each other.  Once I reached the proofing stage, I didn’t want to see or think about the story ever again. 

But I had to learn patience.  I didn’t want to rush through after I just spent over three months of my life developing a relationship with my characters, the plot, and story.  If I want the next person reading my story to fall in love with it just like I did while writing it, I needed to slow down.  I needed to give it TLC and the attention it deserved. 

Proofreading is the most rewarding relationship you can have with your story.



Publishing is the Best Ending to a Bad Breakup

Once I finally submitted my manuscript to a publisher, it kind of felt like a break up.  A very violent breakup.  I killed a lot of the words and sentences during proofreading.  But I guess we needed some time apart. 

I’m being honest.  It was a little sad.  My fictional crush vanished, and I had to find a new lover.  On to the next story, and on to building my new obsession – one word at a time.   

But if you want to know loyalty (and obsession), fall in love with a character in a story.  Or, better yet, write a story, and create your next fictional crush yourself. 

It is hard to say goodbye to all the words, sentences and paragraphs you’ve fallen in love with.  But try to nix the words and phrases you don’t need.  Because after publishing, you can rekindle your relationship  by starting your writing adventure all over again.  


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