The Literary Candy Store

Posted on Leave a comment

Appelorium

The imaginary store that wordsmiths can visit to find, create and play with new and exciting words. Because we wordsmiths are just kids in a candy store!

Wordsmith

A skilled user of words.

If you love to play with words, you are a wordsmith.

The Literary Candy Store

The appelorium is littered with sweet treasures; it’s a literary candy store for hungry little wordsmiths like ourselves. We can mix them up, play with them, and create new and exciting words if we can’t find what we’re looking for.

Now, I want to tell you something REALLY important. I speak from experience here. You may come across people who tell you that ‘today’s youths are lazy with language’. Maybe you say ‘like’ too much, or maybe you abbreviate words like calling your ‘favourite’ book your ‘fave’. 

But that’s ok – it’s absolutely ok to play with language and make it something new! Let me tell you why. 

Linguistics (the study of language) is a science. Every science (like biology or chemistry) is constantly evolving. We know language is evolving into because we don’t speak as Shakespeare did (seriously, when was the last time you heard someone say thou or thither? NEVER! Though, they are great words…we could bring them back!). 

When someone tells you English was better in their day, you might ask them this: when exactly was the right time for language to stop evolving? (And try not to look too smug when they can’t come up with an answer!)

Our fabulous appelorium is full of amazing treasures. Look at these words – say them, taste them, feel how they sound rolling around our mouth.

Petrichor The pleasant, earthy smell after rain. 

Mellifluous A sound that is sweet and smooth, pleasing to hear.

Ineffable Too great to be expressed in words

Nefarious Wicked, villainous, despicable

Epoch A particular period of time in history or a person’s life.

Aren’t they delicious!?

Now, we can all visit the appelorium any time we like and pick something off the shelf. But let’s take a visit into the back room where the magic happens. Like the kitchen in a real candy store, that’s where new wonders are created!

When the right word doesn’t exist, it’s up to you to make it up! The key is to invent with care and only do it sparingly, making sure you use cues in your story to make sure your readers understand what it means.

But, can I just make up new words? Of course you can!

Dr. Seuss made up the word ‘nerd’

J.R.R. Tolkien (who wrote Lord of the Rings) made up the word ‘tween’.

Dictionaries worldwide put new words into the dictionary all the time simply by studying which words people use most often and how they use them.

Some of my favourite 2021 additions to the English language are:

BIPOC

An acronym for “Black, Indigenous, (and) People of Color.”

Makerspace

a communal public workshop in which makers can work on small personal projects

Folx

Folx uniquely signals an explicit inclusion of people who are commonly marginalised. 

So, go visit the appelorium and find some unusual words to use! Bring them out, play with them, and see how you can enrich your writing with some beautiful new words. Just be sure not to overdo it…you don’t want your readers running for the dictionary every other sentence!

Story Contest:

Now, here’s a challenge for you. Make up a new word! But don’t just mix a few syllables together randomly – use your life experiences or your own speech patterns to create something utterly unique, something meaningful to you. 

Confession:

I made up the word appelorium

Let me break it down. I wanted to make up a word to describe this month’s theme of a literary candy land. I used the words:

  •  ‘appellation‘: the action of giving a name to someone or something. (I’m literally naming it after the act of giving something a name!),
  • emporium – another word for a shop or a centre of commerce; it’s also a word that I have always loved!

Now I have a new word to use. It means something to me, it works well in the form I intend to use it (this lesson) and, most importantly, I love it!

This month’s contest is just one sentence. Create your word, define it for us and use it in a beautiful sentence. Bonus points if your sentence also uses an uncommon word, like those listed above. 

Let’s see if we can get your word into the dictionary!

Leave a Reply