Monthly Archives: July 2014

Bookmash — What is it?

bookmashWords are so much fun.  I even listen to podcasts about words as I do my almost-daily walk.

One of my favorite podcast shows is A Way With Words.  Recently, the two hosts discussed a term called “bookmash.”  I think in some places it is bookmash and in others it is book mash.

The term describes a fun activity where  you grab some of the books off your bookshelf or nightstand. Turn the stack on its side and read the titles. Sometimes they flow into a kind of poetic statement.

The Way With Words podcast referenced  Stan Carey’s blog Sentence First. His bookmash example was: Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes / Bugs / Creatures of The Earth / In The Shadow of Man

I had to try this. The bookshelf over my writing desk books that I own that have been signed by the author.

Here is my bookmash (without even rearranging the books):

The Ledge/The Thing/The A.M. God/Absent Memories/My Wish

Now you can try this fun exercise.

NOTE: Since I first wrote this blog post on a new way to create poetry, I found that it is also called book spine poetry.



Discretely discreet

Ok, I admit it—I have been spelling a word incorrectly.  For most of my life, it discrete_vs_discreetseems I have used the word discrete inappropriately.

So you don’t make the same spelling error, here are the definitions for discreet and discrete.

In my defense, both words come from the same Latin word—discretus.

Discreet–the one with double letter e in the middle means

  • Under the radar, doing something carefully or on the down low. It can also mean cautious, reserved or modest when it relates to speech.

The other discreet means

  • to be politely private about something. If you are discreet, you know of the consequences if someone finds out what you are doing or saying.

Discrete remains closer to its roots, meaning individual, detached, separated:

Remember that the “ee’s” in discreet hide together in the middle of the word, but the “t” in discrete separates them.

I’m glad they sound the same so people were not aware of my faux pas.