How many times have you heard the word jejune uttered in your lifetime?
One hundred? Once? Never?
Have you read it in your favourite novel?
Any idea what it means? (No peeking in the dictionary.)
More importantly, can you use it in a sentence?
Many people said that his writing style was jejune.
Know what it means now?
I’m not surprised.
This was the first word for January in a Word of the Day calendar that came from the Dollar Store. It was the first time I’ve run across the word.
Okay, just so you know not all the words in the calendar are as obscure as jejune. Many of the words in the calendar would be helpful in expanding our word power. Lets face it, most of us are not walking dictionaries. We can benefit from a little vocabulary expanding from time to time.
I used to think that using long, extravagant words went hand and hand with good writing. I used to think that the key to publication was wowing some editor with how big, how impressive my vocabulary was. I mean, aren’t writers supposed to know all the words? Story is important but so is the use of words. If big words = good writing, it’s as good as in the bag, isn’t it?
That’s what I used to think, way, way back when publication felt like a pipedream, the idea of which was held together by a wish and a prayer, but had very little with the actual writing involved. Good writing takes time to master. Even after we think we’ve mastered it we make mistakes.
I now know that good writing has nothing to do with the length of the words we use, but rather the way we use those words. Good writing is capturing the reader’s attention, holding it in the palm of our hand, showing them different worlds, different realities, immersing them into a story that will make some sort of impact in their lives. Good writing leaves a lasting impression, a faint sweet sensation that can bring a smile or a tear.
I can clearly state that I have never, nor will I ever, use the word jejune when writing a story. God help me if I do.
So here it is:
1. lacking interest or liveliness; dull
2. naïve and simplistic
You got that, now—-Right?
Any great new words you’ve uncovered recently, one that you had to use a dictionary to find it’s meaning? How about, for the fun of it, you try using the word, jejune, in a sentence to wow and amuse us? Who knows, you may even be able to bring a smile or a tear?