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Spellbinding Sentences by Barbara Baig

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Chapter 6

The Qualities of Words

She loved expressive words, and treasured them as some girls might have treasured jewels. To her, they were as lustrous pearls, threaded on the crimson cord of a vivid fancy. When she met with a new one she uttered it over and over to herself in solitude, weighing it, caressing it, infusing it with the radiance of her voice, making it her own in all its possibilities forever.

—Lucy Maud Montgomery, The Story Girl

In a way, every word is like a precious stone, with its own particular qualities: Some words feel heavy, others light; some seem to glitter, others are dull. As writers, we need to know all we can about the words we use; in addition to getting familiar with a word’s denotations and connotations—its meanings—we ...

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