An invitation

I will be on vacation for two weeks in the middle of May. Rather than just stop the word tasting notes then, I’d like to invite other word tasters – you all – to fill the slots. If you’d like to write a word tasting note, of whatever word you choose, in your own style, do so, and send it to me at (with a suitably perspicuous subject line so I don’t mistake it for spam, of which I get a lot) by the beginning of May. I’ll schedule them all for posting and sending while I’m away.

Things to think about when tasting words:

  • What does it look like on the page?
  • How does it feel in your mouth? Where does your tongue move?
  • How does it sound? What is the feel of the individual sounds and what is the rhythm of the word?
  • What does it sound like? What other words does it have resonances of?
  • What words does it go with? What words is it often seen with?
  • What contexts is it used in? What tone does it have – casual, formal technical?
  • What quotations is it found in?
  • Where does it come from? How did it come to be as it is? What other words are related?
  • Oh, yes: and what does it mean? What interesting things about its object catch your attention and come to mind when you think about it?

And of course have fun. Play around with it as you wish. Do your own thing.

I look forward to your submissions!

3 responses to “An invitation

  1. These are such great guidlines James. Thanks 🙂

  2. Nothing to do with the present posting, but referring back to 22 December, when we were wondering about what those machines that eat houses are called. I happened to meet a British operator, and he tells me that they are called ‘munchers’. Obvious, really.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s