Thursday, February 10, 2011

Blog Crawl: Peg Herring

Thank you, Chris, for hosting Peg’s Blog Crawl today! Yesterday’s post, “Losing the Spice”, is at

The Post: Inventing Words

Children do it all the time, but most of their words don’t stick. I had a student once who was always giving us new words or terms that were both inventive and descriptive. “Road pizza” was her term for smashed animals on the highway, and “gription” was a combination of grip and traction.

Shakespeare often invented words and phrases, and we use many of them still. “The milk of human kindness”. He also invented names for his characters. Romeo is found nowhere before his use of it for the teenager in love with Juliet.

Poe’s contribution to the language is tintinnabulation, although it isn’t used much, probably due to the difficulty of spelling it.

Lewis Carroll’s inventive combinations, which Humpty-Dumpty calls portmanteau words, bring two words into one, evoking connotations of each. Brillig, slithy, gimble, etc.

John Lennon in his poetry often made up words, usually of the portmanteau variety. The word belonely, from “I Sat Beloney”, is quite evocative.

Sometimes words are invented from necessity, but necessity can be the Mother of Boring. Who decided “This will be washing machine,” for example? Couldn’t we borrow from the French and call it a laver or invent a term for it, like dirtaway?

The age of technology means that words you never heard of yesterday are used by everyone today. It must drive the editors of dictionaries nuts.

Finally, popular use makes some non-words into words, whether we like it or not. My huge Webster’s won’t list alot, and it advises against using alright, but both words are destined to be included someday in the language, because they are used every day. (Don’t get me started on those who don’t know the difference between every day and everyday). Besides, already and altogether are in, so why not?

The Poser-Name three series/books in which the sleuth owns a small store of some kind.

The Prizes-Weekly prizes (your choice of THE DEAD DETECTIVE AGENCY in e- or print format) drawn from the names of those who comment on the blogs as we go. Comment once/day, but the first commenter each day gets entered twice in Saturday’s drawing!

The Pathway: The next entry and the answers/comments to the Poser will be a special post on SUNDAY for Creatures and Crooks Bookstore and Lelia Taylor: Why Do We Read Who We Read?

The Pitch: THE DEAD DETECTIVE AGENCY, First in The Dead Detective Mysteries, paranormal mystery. Tori Van Camp wakes in a stateroom on a cruise ship with no memory of booking a cruise, but she does have a vivid recollection of being shot in the chest. Determined to find out what happened and why, Tori enlists the help of an odd detective named Seamus. Together they embark on an investigation like nothing she’s ever experienced. Death is all around her, and unless they act quickly, two people she cares about are prime candidates for murder.

The Perpetrator: Peg Herring writes historical and contemporary mysteries. She loves everything about publishing, even editing (most days). Peg’s historical series, The Simon and Elizabeth Mysteries, debuted in 2010 to wonderful reviews. The second in the series will be available in November from Five Star.

Peg’s Blog Crawl-February, 2011

January 31-Post schedule of Blog Crawl, explain prizes, etc.

Feb. 1 Peg Herring-Why Do We Say That? Part I

Feb. 2 Chris Verstraete-Slowing Readers—Bad Policy

Feb. 3 Melissa Bradley-He Said, She Panted

Feb. 4 Marilyn Meredith-The Dreaded Adverb

Feb. 5 Weekend-Draw for Prizes from Week 1

Feb 6 Weekend—

Feb. 7 Rhonda Dossett-The Ones Spell Check Won’t Catch

Feb 8 Nancy Cohen-Metaphors

Feb. 9 Kaye George-Names Into Words

Feb 10 Lisa Haselton-Losing the Spice

Feb 11. Chris Redding-Inventing Words

Feb 12. Weekend-Draw for Prizes from Week 2

Feb.13. Lelia Taylor Syntax and Sentence Structure

Feb.14 Jenny Milchman-Why Do We Say That? Part II

Feb.15. Pat Brown-Dialogue and What It Reveals and

Feb. 16 Debbi Mack-Portmanteau Words

Feb. 17 Peg Brantley-The Possessive Problem http://www.suspensenovelist.blogspot

Feb 18 Bo Parker-Read It Aloud

Feb 19 Weekend-Draw for Prizes from Week 3

Feb. 20 Weekend

Feb. 21 Jeff Marks-And What About Contractions?

Feb 22 Geraldine Evans-Idioms

Feb. 23 Maryann Miller-Eccentric Phrases

Feb. 24 Peg Herring Being Precise

Feb. 25 –Peg Herring Open Topic

Feb. 26 Weekend-Draw for Prizes from Week 4

Feb. 27 Weekend

Feb. 29 Stacy Juba-Why Do We Say That? Part III

March 1-Final Drawing for Prizes from All Entries

1 comment:

Geraldine Evans said...

Peg, You're so right about Shakespeare; I wish I could recall off the top of my head the words/phrases he came up with (maybe that was one of them?). What an inventive mind he had! Best. Geraldine