Literary Musings

The Importance of a Word

You know how sometimes you hear a word and it just sticks with you? It’s happened to me and it truly makes me realize just how important words can be. So I’m going to share with you the story of that one word that I always seem to notice nowadays.

Back in 2008 I was just beginning a relationship with the man I now plan to marry and we were talking mostly via online messaging. On one evening he used the word “reticent” to describe me which was interesting because I didn’t know what the word meant which hardly ever happened (not to be a word snob but I’ve always been pretty good with words and context clues to find out what words I don’t know actually mean).

When one is reticent they are quiet, restrained, so on and so forth which is a perfect example of me. I’m good with the written word and I can talk your ear off once I’ve gotten to know you but when you first meet me? I’ll only talk in short awkward sentences or go hide on a couch and play with any animals you may have in the house.

But to continue on with the importance of words. I’m not entirely sure why it stuck with me so much but it has and I notice it every time I read it and now that I’m writing this article I really wish I had written down every instance where I noticed it because it would be interesting to see exactly what context it was always seen in and what type of books.

Some instances I found just by a search though my Kindle:
– Thirteen uses in the Sherlock Holmes series.
– Used in two of the Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare, set in a steampunk Victorian era.
– Used in four of the Goddess Summoning series by P.C. Cast each of which retells a myth with a modern twist.
– In four of the thirteen books I have received and reviewed for NetGalley. Each of those books had a historical element to them.

Just looking at that list makes me wonder if most of the books I’ve seen it in are of a historical nature. Is reticent an old school word that authors use to make modern books seem more time period appropriate?

Either way I find it interesting that just a simple occurrence, a simple mention of a word, made it so that I pay so much attention to said word.


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