High Horse

inspired by Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) of 18 July 2022, basically.

Reading prompt word this morning, all buoyed,
My good humour was swiftly destroyed,
‘Cos just like “went” or “go”,
Just like “say”, “said” or “slow”,
This is one of the words I avoid.

When I write flash, I have a list of words. Words I avoid. I keep them in something called an Exclusion Dictionary, and they flag up as spelling mistakes, so if I do end up using them, it’s very deliberate. Because there is generally a better word choice. In this case, no word at all is usually a better choice.

Luisa – she writes in Italian and English – posted a Larkin poem yesterday. Even his first word – groping – impressed me. It implies so much. That it is dark, that he is trying to accomplish something, to get somewhere, that he’s fumbling about.

Larkin could just have said “went” (he was talking about having to go pee in the middle of the night), but if he had, we’d have had none of those details. That’s why he was so renowned.

Basically is another of those words – it contributes very little to anything.

Here is Luisa’s post and Larkin’s wonderful poem.

Prompt image for the Fandango One Word Challenge prompt


    • Luisa’s great cos she analyses all this. I get a gut feel for something but most of the details fly past. With the dictionary it is amazing how often I use those words even though I know I shouldn’t. Every little bit of trickery helps.


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