Thursday, 26 May 2011

When words fail us

So lately I have been obsessed with the app Words With Friends. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, it's basically scrabble, and you can play against friends or random opponents.
I. Am. Terrible. 
Absolutely terrible. 
Everyone seems to beat me: my mum, my friends, even randoms. And they all ask, ‘aren’t you a writer?’ or 'aren't you meant to be good with words?'
Yes. Yes I am meant to be good with words. 

As a writer, I find it strange that words often seem to fail me.
I was recently in a position where I had to express how I felt about a particular situation, and all I could manage to say was 'I just... I just feel... I feel... uncomfortable and I don't need to explain why!'
And again, that was followed by, 'but aren't you a writer? You should be able to express how you feel.'

I often struggle talking. I use basic language, I say things wrong (I can't tell you how often I say 'me and Ash' and my dad says 'you mean, Ash and I'.) Sometimes I feel like my entire adult vocabulary escapes me when I need it to verbalise things, but then when I write (most of the time), it all comes back. 

Other times it's there. Just a few weeks ago I was having a slight argument with my boyfriend and during on my girly-emotional-rant, I remember throwing in some similes and metaphors, and after thinking 'wow, those were awesome' and I wrote them down. (can't help but laugh at myself). 

And the worst is when I babysit, and the kids ask me 'what does this word mean' and I stand there like 'ummmm, it's when.... ahhh'. Even words I know, half the time I struggle to explain them.  

Have words ever failed you? Where?


  1. Oh yea, I'm like that too! It's especially difficult when people ask you what you're writing about. Cue wide-eyed silence.

    PS. I gave you a bloggy award. You can grab it here. :)

  2. Words fail me all the time. But even though my husband knows more words than me, I can spell better than him :) He uses words all the time that I don't know. And then I come back with an overload of adjectives and similes. It's kind of hilarious! Great post :)

  3. No worries. I've heard that speaking and writing are two different cognitive skill sets. Writing tends to be planned and isn't really sensitive to social context where as speaking is spontaneous, dependent on a lot of non-verbals and tends to adapt itself to the person that you are talking to (for example, have you ever picked up someone's accent after having a long conversation with them?) I think people even have different vocabularies for writing and speaking.

  4. Ha! Words fail me every day, I swear. I can write my thoughts and feelings down in like two seconds, but placed in a situation that involves real people face to face? If it's something I need to express my opinion about, I get tongue tied and don't have any idea what to say. :P

  5. I HATE this! Especially when I'm in the middle of an argument with someone. I tend to lose my witty way with words when under emotional distress... its horrible! You're not alone, girl!