Thursday, April 5, 2012

Edit

my A to Z - every day of the challenge I will find a word by flinging my finger into my American Heritage Dictionary and then riff on it. The posts may be essays or poems or stories or memories. Who knows what will happen when we give Serendipity her wanton way?
Edit - in all fairness my first word was -ess - a suffix denoting the female but ya know - it ain't a word. You can't use it on your own so I twirled my finger through the e's again and found edit. How right on is that?
I've just been through the most intense edit of my life - perhaps I should look at what the dictionary says about it:
To prepare for publication or presentation, as by correcting or adapting.
Yep, that sounds like it. I'm not sure about the correcting so much - more like gleaning the good bits and throwing away the chaff. Is that corrective? Not so sure. And adapting - no revising would be more like it. Adapting to me means something else. Do you see what I'm doing? I'm editing the meaning of edit! You know that I love words right? But they aren't as precise as we all think. They're fuzzy. We agree that this round thing is called a ball, or a sphere, or an orb - if it is of an orange colour and edible, well we call it an orange - if it is hot and bright and up in the sky we call it the sun. Or the moon during an eclipse...

We try and get more and more specific but somehow, like physicists looking for the smallest particle, the meanings elude us, they slip away. And that is what makes editing more of an art and less of a science. I get to choose if I want to say 'her breasts were round and firm like an orange, no like the sun, no just round and kind of bouncy like a ball - well actually they weren't really round and sure you wouldn't want to bounce them - not really - but when I say 'her breasts in their curvy roundness warmed my hand causing me to want to lean over and give a bite as if it were an orange, warmed by the sun, sweet to my lips' you know what I'm talking about.
Enough - who knew the word 'edit' would lead to such sensual thoughts...

13 comments:

MOV said...

Hi Jan,

Edit is the perfect "E" word, and a word I struggle with from time to time. Sometimes when I write, I go back and chop off the first paragraph or 2, then also the last paragraph! (this is tricky if the story is only 3 paragraphs)

Found you on the a to z, will be back to read more of your lovely writing!

Feel free to take a peek at my blog too if you have time:

http://mothersofbrothersblog.blogspot.com

best,
MOV

Margot Kinberg said...

Jan - Editing really is a process of clarification and shaping isn't it? It's a matter of getting to the heart of a story - the soul of it - and sharing that with the reader in the best way possible. An excellent (Hey, another e-word!) post.

Rosalind Adam said...

Phew! That was getting pretty steamy there. Glad you ended it where you did!
A to Z of Nostalgia

Bish Denham said...

"her breasts were round and firm like an orange, no like the sun, no just round and kind of bouncy like a ball - well actually they weren't really round and sure you wouldn't want to bounce them - not really" (giggle, giggle... I hear a 12/13 year old boy struggling.)

Liza said...

There is my first morning laugh. Whew, hot and funny stuff!

Clarissa Draper said...

Wow, sexy! I can't say mine are orange-ish or sunny or anything but I get your drift. ;)

Hart Johnson said...

*giggles* Editing the definition of edit. Nice.

As to why I am a day behind... see... I don't read directions very well... I've done this before... I knew what we were doing... and totally didn't realize until Monday that we had to include a Sunday this time around... I will catch up on Sunday.

Yadin Bromberg said...

Nice post! I came across your blog via the A-Z Challenge. I now follow you and would love for you to check out my blog over at http://yadinbromberg.blogspot.com

Thanks and good luck with the A-Z Challenge!
-Yadin

Jennifer Lane said...

Love your approach to the challenge. That eclipse moon is beautiful! I don't mind editing as much as some authors do, and I treasure my editor. She really helps me tighten my word diarrhea.

Jeremy Bates said...

You're spot on! I was learning Greek years ago and came across the word snow. Were you aware that there were over 20 ways to say it, dependent on the type of snow it is? Yep.

Today is no different than yesteryear with regard to new words being coined. Having said that, there appears to be a dumbing down of the English language, which I find frightening.

Jemi Fraser said...

Love it! I like the way you edit, Jan! :)

Barbara said...

Hello, stopping by from A-Z Challenge!
English Speaking Zone

judysnwnotes said...

A fun read - I can tell you do have fun with words -- time to catch up on some of your other posts..

Got here via another A to Z blogger and your comment on that post -- I'm enjoying the journey through the maze of outposts ....