The Cut of One’s Jib

I miss getting lost in the Synonym Finder. Not any thesaurus, the best thesaurus. When I got to college, there was an added dictionary component. The first writing professor who encouraged my writing (in undergrad) said—wait. By encourage I mean the following. He told me what he wanted to read. Said “I want to read this sort of thing by you.” It’s a very interesting statement because it’s both broadly encouraging but very focused. I might have wanted to write science fiction stories metaphors for—I can’t even think of an example. Something dumb. Some dumb, funny sci-fi thing. And he’d encourage me writing, but suggest something else. Sort of guide it. Anyway, this professor said don’t play with the thesaurus, play with the dictionary. So I started keeping a dictionary handy too. I got busted in my history class the next year because I was using archaic words with typographical shit going on too. I remember I got an A on the paper, but the history professor was just like, “knock it off.” Because I was pushing it. I always forget how much I moved between history and writing in undergrad. How much I wanted the things to inform one another.

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