Staring At Words

As I write and edit, sometimes I have to stop and gather my thoughts. Most often, that means I sit with my chin propped in my hands, staring at the computer screen as if my thoughts will magically pop up to fill that blank white space if I stare hard enough.

And often while I’m staring, I notice a particular word on the page. Here are the thoughts that inevitably follow:

Spaghetti. Hmm. That sounds good. Ew–what am I thinking? I hate spaghetti. Spag-het-ti. Spa-ghe-tti. Spaghetti. Whoever came up with that word? It’s so weird–I mean, really look at it. Whose bright idea was it to put a G and an H together? it’s the last word I’ve written, or sometimes I would I don’t use very often. My thoughts look something like this at that point:

And how did it come to be pronounced with the H silent? Did people at first have problems with pronouncing it “Spa-ge-hetti?” This is such a weird word…I really need to get back to work. Where was I? OK, Josh and Marc were just captured, and…spaghetti. No, no, not going there. Marc needs to tell Josh what’s going on…how am I going to pull that off without Josh clocking him? And…spaghetti.

Who the heck came up with that word?!? 

And so on and so forth.

Is this a trait of all authors, to sit at stare at words and wonder random things about them? Or am I the really strange one in a group of nuts? (It’s up to your discretion whether or not you want to answer that last question.) 😉

Excuse me while I go Google the history of the word spaghetti. 🙂


About H. A. Titus

H. A. Titus is usually found with her nose in a book or spinning story-worlds in her head. Her love affair with fantasy began at age twelve, when her dad handed her The Lord of the Rings after listening to it on tape during a family vacation. Her stories have been published in Digital Dragon Magazine, Residential Aliens Magazine, and four anthologies: Alternative Witness; Avenir Eclectia Volume 1; The Tanist's Wife and Other Stories; and Different Dragons Volume II. In December 2013, her short story "Dragon Dance" won Honorable Mention in a Writers of the Future contest. She lives on the shores of Lake Superior with her meteorologist husband and young son, who do their best to ensure she occasionally emerges into the real world. When she's not writing, she can be found rock-climbing, skiing, or hanging out at her online home, hatitus.wordpress.com.

3 comments on “Staring At Words

  1. Hush! Italians are fantastic! 😛 LOL.

  2. I’m not disputing the fantasticness of Italians. I’m just questioning their word choices. 😉

  3. It’s not about Italian. Words are weird in lots of languages. English has plenty of nutty spellings. I mean, “cough” — really? It looks like it should rhyme with “dough.” Which actually rhymes with “doe.”

    And don’t get me started on French. Who else pronounces a word “ru” and then spells it “roux?” A silent X? Really?

    Even Spanish, which has mostly phonetic spelling, has a silent “H.”

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