Monday, November 9, 2009

Deadline

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Dead. It's one of those words I love. Not for what it means, for how it sounds. The word dead... in the English language... sounds like what it means. Say it. See?

So what came first? The deadness or the word? Language is a wonderful thing. And it isn't rocket science either. It's a symbol, a stringing together of symbols, that create the words we speak and write and use.

If we think about symbols, we usually see shapes. And those great artists who have put together shapes in abstract ways are the artists we admire. They show us a different way to use shapes, to see shapes. Writers do the same with words. We try to string them together, layer them, balance them in a new way. This creates something else, a way to see or use a word different from before. It's a magic puzzle. It's why I write.

And so the word dead in all its forms. Take the word deadline. Deadline means many things. The line on the screen that's flat when we die and are hooked up to beeping machines. The end of the road. The finish line for a project. It's a flat, dead word that means....stop. It's a red word. Not pulsating or vibrant. Still.

And here we are. The deadline for my contest is midnight tonight 11/9. Wherever in the world you are. Enter! Fun!

Midnight. Ooooohhhhh. I like that word. Don't you?

19 comments:

  1. Deadline...almost as good as "drop dead date" with all those lovely Ds. :)

    Congrats on winning my Book Title Contest!

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  2. Angie! I am thrilled! (And it's a working title too!)

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  3. Writing is art. And for some reason, when I say the word "dead" it comes out sounding like Michael Keaton in Beetlejuice! Haha

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  4. Dead is a perfect word representative and tone wise

    On a positive note, one of my favorite words is serendipity. Like what it means, fun to say.

    Congrats, fellow winner!

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  5. Interesting way to put it. So true. I'm sorry, but I don't think I'll be entering the contest. I haven't had time to come up with anything.

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  6. I love the word "meander." "Midnight" is one of my favorites too!

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  7. I like the word "deadline" because of the combo of "dead" and "line" and the inference that if you cross that line (miss the deadline), there will be consequences.

    Yes, I do like the word "midnight" and the actual experience of it!

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  8. I just finished a language class that says learning words are like learning symbols; symbols of what we feel and believe. If you say a word a person will react to that word by the symbol they attach to the word. So cool. I wonder what it means when I love saying the word "awesome".

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  9. Deadline....a work that makes my heart skip a beat. Have a great day!
    Jeanette

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  10. Sorry I didn't enter your contest. And you're right about the word dead. Never thought about that before.
    karen

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  11. I wish I had a deadline. A real one not self contrived. One that came complete with a nagging agent and a tyranical editor. A girl can dream right?

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  12. Deadline... deadline... deadline. You've made that word fun to say. :)

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  13. Midnight is a wonderful word full of haunting and velvet blackness. But sadly this girl will not be able to enter. I just couldn't get a story together in time. Sorry :) It takes me forever to write short stories. I find writing whole novels easier. Poems are another matter... those I can write in five minutes. They grow like wild things- which doesn't mean they are good! When are you hosting a poetry comp??? :)

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  14. Lol, great post! And I won't ever hear the word "dead" the same again.

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  15. This is just how I feel about words; the way they roll and taste in your mouth. Midnight. Good word. I like fortnight too. Very...highwayman-ish to me.

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  16. I love words that sound like their meaning. Cut, squeeze, prick, rushing

    all good ones...

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  17. "We try to string them together, layer them, balance them in a new way. "

    Trying to string mine quickly into Nano so no time to enter. I think your Nano is going a tad better than mine.

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