The Many Meanings of Words
As I write, and again, while I’m editing, I consider words carefully. Choosing the very best word is a challenge, and for me, it can be a joyous experience.
My father in-law, a voracious reader who was fortunate to inherit many old books, gave me the 7th Edition of Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary as a gift after earning my MFA. And what a gift! Johnson’s definitions are a reflection of his time, and his understanding of a word can allow a writer in the 21st Century to view a well-known word with fresh eyes.
For instance: HOPELESS,
1. Wanting hope; being without pleasing expectation. Hooker
2. Giving no hope; promising nothing pleasing. Shakespeare
*Johnson’s Dictionary can be found online.