Word Nerd Wednesday: The Place You Call Home

It’s Wednesday! That means the end of the week is in sight. All we have to do is hold on a little longer. And that also means it’s Word Nerd Wednesday! Today’s story is about a woman named Jennifer.

Jennifer grew up in a town she loved, a place called Demick, and she makes an effort to return often. She visits old friends, gets ice cream from her favorite shop, and visits all her favorites spots. But the one thing she loves the most about her hometown is the sunflowers everywhere she turns. It’s something Jennifer always imagines when she thinks about home: the sunflowers that grow in Demick.

“In Demick” = endemic (in-DIM-ick), meaning indigenous or characteristic of a certain area, either a physical region or a specific industry/field. It can refer to native plants/animals or describe diseases or other negative conditions plaguing a specific area, population, or field of study.

These endemic traits are particularly important to writers. When we write about a location or subject, we’re stepping into a very specific culture. And it is our responsibility to capture both the positive and negative characteristics respectfully and tactfully.

I grew up in NC, and I’ve personally experienced the powerful hurricanes that are endemic to the region. They’re part of the fabric of life there, but they also cause a lot of destruction and claim lives. Someone else who’s never seen the aftermath up close probably wouldn’t be able to capture it in the way I can.

It’s really the only time I actually like the tired adage “write what you know.” When it comes to capturing the nuanced traits of your specific culture, region, or career, who knows it better than you? So if you’re a writer, own your story and write about that place you call home.

Word Nerd Wednesday: Moochers Beware

Happy Word Nerd Wednesday! Is it just me or does it feel like this week is straggling? But we’ve made more than halfway. The end is in sight, my friends!

Moving right along. This week’s word story is about a woman named Cici.

Cici is bubbly and outgoing. She’s fun to be around. There’s just one major drawback to a friendship with Cici: she tends to ask for things, a lot, without giving back. Basically, she’s an emovamp,┬ásomeone who takes so much more than she gives. Her favorite phrase seems to be “Can’tcha? Please?” Every person who knows Cici has heard that phrase more than once as she badgers them to give her things they’ll never get back.

“Can’tcha” = cadge (rhymes with badge), meaning to sponge, beg, or mooch. We’ve all had to borrow from time to time, relying on the generosity of our friends. But mooching, always taking, never reciprocating, that’s just poor form all around. Don’t cadge, people.

So the next time someone tries to mooch off you, feel free to declare “don’t you try to cadge from me!” Or possibly, “alway with you and your cadging ways!” Whatever you prefer.