A-Z Challenge,  Celebrate the Small Things,  Writing

P is for Paxwax (and Celebrate the Small Things)

P is for Paxwax, a celebration!

Hosted by Viklit, this is a great weekly chance to talk about the small things worth celebrating in life!

I’m combining the two hops again this week, by celebrating paxwax.

Paxwax is a ligament in the neck that helps to support the head in quadrupeds. So why am I celebrating it? Because it’s an awesome word. And I am really thankful for awesome words. Everyone has their personal favourites, phrases and words they use often. But sometimes when I read I am disappointed by the lack of interesting vocabulary in stories, while other times it makes me so happy to come across unusual words.

I think this is such an important feature of writing, perhaps especially with young readers. When I was a preteen, I began reading Stephen King. And let me tell you, sometimes I had no idea what he was talking about! But I can remember looking at certain words, and re-reading the paragraph surrounding them, and placing them in the correct context, and thus gaining a rudimentary understanding of their definitions. And that’s one of the ways my own vocabulary grew.

These days it can be very easy to look up the meaning of unusual words, and if the reader is compelled to learn more about a unknown term, that’s fantastic. But just by including these kinds of odd and sometimes difficult words, we can help some readers bridge a gap in their minds, and learn something new not by any facts we’ve laid out, but simply by placing a great word in the sentence of a great story.

I love that. And I want to celebrate it! So here’s to odd, unusual, difficult, and altogether fabulous words!

What are you celebrating this week?


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