Monday, May 14, 2007

Word of the day

Today's word is
A word that is used often in everyday life, but in my opinion, not often enough. The word 'creature' is basically used as a synonym for anything living. Breathing. With lungs, a heart, and other internal organs. It is sometimes used on things that do not breath, but not very much. Cornelia Funke described fire as a creature.

...He lit the second torch and ran its flame over his bare arm. He looked as happy as a child playing with a pet animal. The fire licked his skin like something living, a darting, burning creature that he had befriended, a creature that caressed him and danced for him and drove the night away.
~Cornelia Funke, from Inkheart.

Although the paragraph would have sounded beautiful without the word 'creature' in it, it wouldn't have sounded nearly as good. Creature simply adds spice and pep to writing and conversation. Creature is a word that you breathe; a word you whisper; a word to describe a wild thing, or a tame thing, or anything. Creature just sounds good. Even if you are insulting something, like a cat, if you call it a creature, it makes the insult sound good. A classic, even! This is how my brother described cats once:
"Selfish little creatures. Don't care about anybody but themselves"
I loved the way he said that! I really do like cats. A whole lot! I love cats! But they really are selfish. Cats just aren't very considerate of others.
Creature makes any sentence or object (fire) sound good. It is a great way to describe an animal or a human (we are all God's creatures, right?) and it just zings through your head! Whisper it. Say it. Use it in your conversation. It just sounds good.
I think that 'creature' is definitely a cut of poetry. Definitely; because it sounds so good in writing. It can be witching or ominous. It can be used so often in conversation, and just...oh! Can I describe the pleasure I get in using that word? Or hearing it?
You can use creature, in poetry or in normal conversation. The best part is, if you are a poet (the only real poet in your family,) then you can use this word in normal conversation and people won't wrinkle up their faces in confusion and say, "What is that supposed to mean?" But if you use a lovely word such as 'owl-light' a synonym for twilight, then people will look at you funny and say "Owl-light? What kind of word is that? What does owl-light mean?" I know. I use poetic words all the time. That is a special and unusual beauty about 'creature'; you can use it without being made fun of. Take 'witching,' for instance. The first time you use it around your friends or family, they will say, with a confused expression on their face, "Witching?"
Anyway, 'creature' is definitely a cut of poetry. Use it often; it makes your sentences sound good.
Anna Elizabeth Hedges

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