A note from an aspiring neologist

According to WordPress this is my 500th post, which to me seems like something of a milestone for a self-styled ‘accidental’ blogger, even though it must seem modest to many.

I’ve always been happy writing. I even enjoyed writing up insurance inspections and composing reports for council committees. Words, I’ve come to realise, are just ‘my thing’.

‘Once I’ve written something it does tend to run away from me. I don’t seem to have any part of it – it’s no longer my piece of writing.’
– David Bowie

This quote, from the late and great David Bowie, is very apt. Words run away with me too. Especially in the mouths and actions of my characters. You’ve heard how some of them go on, even outside their own story.

Which brings me to the term for ‘my kind of writer’ that I’m not very fond of… Pantster!

Really???


I’m not alone, as discovered last week after I read an interview with fellow author and blogger, Liz Gauffreau. I’m always interested to read about other writers. This brief(!) exchange followed:

I got to thinking after that. What about a new term to replace the irritating ‘pantster’?

I mulled over some alternative words for pants: braggas (Spanish); breeks (Scottish); broekies (South African); but knowing that Liz is a Latin scholar, I came to braccas. I have to admit I had to look it up. My schoolroom Latin is too distant to recall, besides it wasn’t a word to feature much in Caesar or Cicero, although I’m sure Liz will correct me if I’m wrong!

And so here *drumroll* is the first mention of a new word – a neologism

Braccaneers of the world unite, you’ve nothing to lose but your…

A pair of Queen Victoria’s silk bloomers sold for 1000 UK pounds at auction (Clevedon Salerooms)

Remember, you heard it here first!

41 thoughts on “A note from an aspiring neologist

  1. Oh yay! I love making up words! I looked up “neologist” and the first couple of times I typed it in, auto correct changed it to “neurologist”. 😂 One reason for getting up and looking in an actual print dictionary but I was lazy!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh, this is wonderful, Chris! I’m so glad you followed up on spreading the word of our new term to braccaneers near and far!! I think we need a badge now . . . (And congratulations on your 500-post milestone.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations!!!! 500 is definitely a milestone…. Funny that i was just looking at the accidental blogger tagline before opening this post and look at that you have clicked the publish button 500 times woo hoo 🎊🎉
    Sometimes i tell people im a writer with a blog 🤔😎 subtle difference
    ~B

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I shall be adopting bracaneer henceforth! Pantster has always irritated me as well to be honest, as has the ”debate’ between plotters and pantsters on social media. People are so keen to file themselves – surely the amount of research a person does on a project is dependent on so many things – the resources at their disposal, the story they are writing, their own experience of what they are writing about etc etc. If you know your characters, your plot, and your setting, there is little merit in planning for planning’s sake. Amazing achievement on the 500 blog posts, Chris. People underestimate the discipline that takes so kudos!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re quite right in what you say about planning, Matthew. Of course, we both know about research and rabbit holes! Thanks for your unwavering encouragement and your support for ‘the cause’ 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Neologism is itself a new word to me, Chris! 😊 I think I’m part of the Braccaneers brigade too… I have no idea what I’m going to write until I start… and, thankfully, the characters take over and veer off in all sorts of directions!
    Congratulations on your milestone… and please, keep counting them!
    I have a bit of a word theme going at the moment, so I’ll see about adding a ‘braccaneer’ post later this week, for the benefit of my two followers! 😄🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is beautiful Chris… 500?
    Your smooth narration makes it seem easy but I believe you’ve earned it in blood. The conversational tone being a bonus. Bet it takes a certain discipline and commitment.

    I’m in awe. Excellent word play. I’m looking forward to the tune braccaneer will take.

    Like

  7. Congratulations on a new word and saving many lives: If one flies a rickety old WW1 plane and flies by the seat of one’s pants, without radar or computers or instruments (although, I don’t know why those guys took their saxophones into the cockpit [a violin is a better instrument] ), one would be likely to crash & burn like a dictionary without a parachute. Yes, indeed, “Where is a Good Latin Scholar When You Need One?”

    I wanted to come up with a make-believe “famous” Latin saying to add to or introduce a satirical essay. So I tried various permutations of English to Latin on Google but none of the Latin translations back to English made any sense. What I wanted to say in English was:
          “Often the satirist has a better nose for truth than the seller of sagacity.”
       A direct translation of this into Latin produced a gibberish Latin phrase which when translated into English was scrambled eggs of whiplash.

    I changed the English challenge sentence a billion times and finally came up with this:
    Non erit satura est scriptor nasus quando emptore magis est vera sapientia, quam venditor.
    There will be a satire’s nose when the buyer is true wisdom rather than the seller.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, Doug, your Latin saying sounds effortlessly erudite to me. I completely get the sense of it, although my Latin is beyond rusty, more ‘turned to dust’ after 40 years 😉 I’m sure it’s better that way!

      Liked by 1 person

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