Once you start seriously developing your writing as a craft, you realize you need more expert feedback than your mother can give. So you set your course and sail into the waters of critique. No matey, this is not a mythical land. But any critique group is populated by writers with deadly weaponry. Your well-intentioned critiquers will bear down on you, cannons blazing with a heavy shot of RULES!
As they blast their way through the hull of your manuscript, you might wonder where you went wrong. What dangerous waters have you sailed into? How can a good pirate like yourself save your manu-ship from total annihilation?
First, let me assure you that your first draft sucks. Everyone’s does.
Second, let me reassure you that it can be saved. And your creative side can be saved, too. How?
I can’t tell you how much I love this word. Thank you to the Scots, for having a word for something that takes a sentence to explain:
Duffifie ~ To lay down a bottle on its side for some time, after its contents have been poured out, that it may be completely drained of the few drops remaining in it.
So duffifie that bottle of rum (or champagine, if that’s your preference), and don’t waste any.
Happy New Year!
Squabash ~ To squash or defeat.
In particular, it means to defeat someone by using cutting criticism to absolutely drive them or their argument into the ground.
In the age of heated Twitter rivalries, I think it’s time we brought #squabashed into the mix, to recognize those who manage the ultimate final word.
Alternately, I often feel squabashed by my computer, when I’m trying to make it see reason. It will destroy my carefully worded argument in just a few short clicks
Makes me wonder if I should change my 404 page to Squabashed. This page cannot be found. Try again, puny human.
Garbist ~ One who is skilled in polite behavior; an expert in good manners.
No wonder we don’t use this word anymore. I don’t know if I’ve ever met any person who meets this criteria–myself included.
But boy, that would be a nice thing to put on your business card:
Garbist and Dark Lord
Oh, c’mon! We all know he talked way, way too politely to be just an average villain.
Whister-clister ~ A smart blow to the ear.
It just sounds like it hurts.
This probably went out of fashion around the same time we stopped boxing children’s ears on a regular basis.
Image by Andy Templeton (CC)
Moffle ~ To do something clumsily or ineffectively; to botch.
This is one of the most memorable moments I’ve seen on TV:
I will always remember how awesome Claire Champlin was to just keep going after that Amazing Race moment and finish the leg. And in all fairness to her, I don’t think she was clumsy, but it was definitely the most ineffective attempt at a watermelon slingshot. Perhaps ever. World-class moffle.