Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Glottering: a new word

Yesterday I invented a new word, glottering--except, it turns out, it was invented long ago. Tuh. 'The stork glottereth, this is a kind of fictitious terms from the sound, chattereth.' -- R. Holme, in 1688. (Via the OED. Of course.)

But back to my word (Holme's word, the stork's word, whatever). Let me give you context. I was thinking about rain. Thinking about Hild standing under a tree when it starts to rain. And, half asleep, trying to catch the scent and feel of early summer rain, I jotted this:

Sudden rain pattered and slapped the leaves: glottering rain, thick and cold as mud slung from a shovel.

Why am I telling you this? Because it's an example of what my writing looks like as it arrives, naked naked and newborn. And if you pony up a few dollars to sponsor Kelley's Clarion West Write-a-Thon and if the total comes to $2,000 or more, OR (if you're a writer) you sign up for the Write-a-Thon and say so in the comments today, I'll promise to post more naked words here during the six-week Write-a-Thon which starts on Sunday. I can't promise I'll invent a new word every time (or steal one, or borrow one, whatever). But some of the snippets will be much more substantial. And sometimes I'll then talk about how I would/n't use said snippet, and/or how I'd edit it.

For example, I might rewrite the above snippet as:

Glottering rain slapped and slid through the leaves, cold as mud.

Or maybe I'd just leave 'glottering' out of it completely. It is a bit precious. There again, I like the hint of clot and clatter and glottal (with it's connotation of mucous) the word invokes. But mud does some of that work. Or I could leave out 'mud'. Or... Well, there are a score of ways I could approach this.

So go on. Go give some money or time to Clarion West. Or sign up to write for six weeks. You know you want to.

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