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  • Christine Delea

It's Hard to Say: Poetry Prompt

Updated: Oct 25

Some words are difficult to pronounce, some to spell, some to guess on Wordle, some to teach, some to use correctly, and some to stop saying once we get them in our heads. This last one can also apply to writing: you may find yourself repeating a certain word (or phrase) in your writing for a period of time. You may not even notice it until you get some distance from your work and then head back to revise and edit.


I was on an "untenable" kick for most of the spring. I don't know if I read it or heard it or it just popped into my head/mouth, but I used it. A LOT. And then I just stopped, as completely and as suddenly as I had started.


This week's prompt uses multiple types of hard words. I have avoided medical, technical, and scientific words, and opted for more general writing-friendly words instead.


See how many you can weave into a piece of writing this week. I have one for each letter of the alphabet (mostly--there's 2 for "w" and none for "x"), using various sources, including my own Wordle-based shame (and that of most other people, guessing by social media). Yep, I am looking at you, parer!


I used "sixth" for the letter "s" as it appears on many lists of hard to spell/hard to say/really hard for ESL learners, but I confess to really wanting to use a word I have struggled with all of my life: "sheriff." In fact, it just autocorrected, as I tried to spell it with two r's, which I will most likely continue to do forever.


anemone

believe

colonel

dour

embarrass

further

genuine

hoi polloi

insure

jibe

knoll

literal

movie

nauseous

our

parer

question

rural

sixth

thistle

uncanny

vivid

weird

Worcestershire (as in the place and the sauce)

yolk

zeitgeist





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