Chris Gardner

The joys of self-publishing.

Lost Words


Are we all becoming vanilla flavoured with our speech? I’m not talking about texting, using acronyms or shortening words to speed up the process of sending a text or an email. That’s a whole other subject and I’m not getting into that, other than to say sometimes it’s fine but if your phone has a reasonable predictive text it’s just as easy to use complete words. new the inheritance coverWhat I’m talking about here is language, the spoken word; how many words have we simply stopped using? I may live a sheltered life but as far as I can see, or rather hear, everything these days is either awesome or amazing. Nothing is ever marvellous or splendid or even terrific. Fantastic? Maybe, but what about delightful or even extraordinary?

As a writer I know I’m guilty of using mostly everyday language, because I want my books to be accessible and enjoyable to read, not a chore. Perhaps I can sneak in the odd ‘marvellous’ in the dialogue of someone in the 1860s? My current book is about the Bendigo goldfields around that era so, yes, I believe I will do that. At least one ‘marvellous’!

I am well aware language is constantly evolving but it does seem somewhat of a shame to lose words such as ‘delightful’ just to re-interpret words like ‘sick’, or even ‘cool’, but that’s one that been around for long enough to have earned its place. I haven’t heard ‘sick’ for a while; hopefully it’s already gone. Does it seem more like devolution of the language rather than evolution?

‘Her Flesh and Blood’ is FREE on Amazon from the 24th to 28th May (USA dates). For more information on my books please check out my author pages at or Amazon.UK



Author: cmsgardnerblog

I'm a writer of fiction and non-fiction, for teens and adults. I live in Central Victoria, Australia and my books are available at Most are also with D2D as ebooks.

2 thoughts on “Lost Words

  1. Yes, if you’re using dialogue I guess you have to go with the ‘amazing’ ‘awesome’ ‘cool’ (or is the latter not cool anymore?)
    But I think it’s a great shame to drop the words that belong to your own country – readers can pick up the sense quickly enough. As (in New Zealand) my mother used to say “stick your puku in” (Maori for stomach) when I was slouching. Or “taihoe there for a while” (Maori for wait). (My computer is trying to change that to Tahiti, incidentally!!) Or “tramping” even if everyone else says trekking. Or lets have our drinks on the “deck” (verandah to most people).
    We’ve all had to adapt to American sayings and we’ve worked out the meaning, haven’t we?
    Let’s stick with our own.

    • There is that too, Judith. The world is becoming a smaller place these days and language, English at least, is more or less the same all over now, but does anyone use the ‘old’ words like ‘splendid’ and some of the others I mentioned?

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