A To Z Blogging Challenge: D – Definitions
Definitions – probably one of the most important aspects of writing. Why so important? Because definitions are the meaning behind the words we use in our writing.
How many of you are reading this and rolling your eyes at my concept? While it may seem unimportant to many, but to me definitions are everything. Better yet, definitions can be absolutely nothing. Now I know some of you guys and gals really did roll your eyes, or better yet, maybe just did a double-take . Humor me for just a moment here… I really do have a point.
How many times have you, as a writer, felt confined by the definition of certain words? I know I sure have, and I know how frustrating it can be. But are we really confined by the specific definition of any given word?
My answer: No!
The best part of being a writer is the fact that we have the power to define our words in our own ways. We are the master manipulators of words and their meanings! We are only as confined as we choose to be.
Take the word “love”. The traditional definition of the word means to care for someone. Now when we think of caring we think, again more traditionally, of flowers, candy and long walks on the beach at sunset. Now how can we twist the word “love” to mean something other than what we think it means?
Instead of sunsets and flowers, what if we insert kidnapping and violence? For many, those words don’t remotely remind them of the word “love”, but what if we were looking at the concept through the eyes of a disturbed individual? To them, love could be taking their “loved” one and using violence to “prove” their “love” for them. See what I just did there? I twisted the definition of the word “love”.
Yes, as writers, we know we have the ability to use words in a powerful way. We can manipulate them to persuade our readers to feel one way or another, but many don’t realize that we can manipulate not only words, but their definitions as well.
Words are powerful, and so are their definitions. Do you agree with me that writers can manipulate not only words, but their definitions? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!