Posted by: mygentlecloud | November 19, 2006


Sunday Times today had a very cute article written by Janadas Devan. Titled “Bada-bing! Looky-loo, it’s in the dictionary”, it introduces new words which I’ve never heard before. Here are two cute neologisms i.e. newly coined words, worth mentioning:

bouncebackability – able to come back after a setback. Thought to be first coined by a football club manager

bada-bing – an American slang suggesting something happening suddenly, emphatically,or easily and predictably, ‘just like that’, ‘Presto!’.  Example from the movie ‘Godfather’, “You’ve gotta get up close like this and bada-bing! you blow their brains all over your nice shirt.” LOL

bling-bling – diamonds, of course

The above is just for fun. On a more serious note, I feel that grasping not just the rudiments of English but mastering it differentiate the good authors from the rest.

When I met successful local writers like Catherine Lim and Shirley Geok-Lin, I felt so inadequate and exposed. Not just were they teachers or professors of Literature, their ability to speak eloguently helps them sell themselves and their work. How would non-entities in the literary world like me ever be like them? They’re a different breed. They had too much of a headstart with their Arts doctorate and more compared to a mere Business Admin graduate like me!

After mentally wringing my hands at first, I now psyched myself to believe that what is lacking in form can be offset with substance. That’s the part which all passionate writers can lean to if we are dreamers. For what feed dreams are our imagination and that is inborn and not nurtured. I’ve read books which are written beautifully with a normal storyline and others which are more minimalistic, spartan and yet have storylines that ‘knocks your socks off’.

Anyway, I make it a practice nowadays to apply new words which I’ve come across in books. I challenge myself to use the new word in the latest chapter I’m writing. It works to increase my vocabulary and adds to the arsenal of words to tell a good story. Words like ichor, cathartic and flotsam are but a few of the new words I’ve added to my vocabulary this way. Try it.

Su Yin



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