L is for Language in today’s A-Z Blog Challenge
People take language for granted. It’s surrounded most of us since we took our first breath. But as writers we’re constantly working with our language to hone our phrases, bring life to the dialogue, create a setting to draw in our readers. Writing is rewriting, rewriting, rewriting–at least for me.
And one thing I’ve learned over the years is that there are many ways to say something. MANY. So how many do you think? Here’s an interesting study I found a long time ago in The Miracle of Language by R. Lederer.
A professor at Wesleyan University gave 25 people a simple cartoon and asked each to use one sentence to describe what it portrayed. He got 25 different sentences. So that’s not surprising, right? But then he used a computer, entering the “raw data” of those 25 sentences to see how many other sentences were possible. Here’s your multiple choice quiz.
A. 5, 000
B. 50, 000
C. 5, 000, 000
D. 5, 000, 000, 000
What’s your guess? I’ll put the answer at the top of tomorrow’s (M’s Day).