Thursday, March 12, 2009

Creepy Words

I stumbled upon the most wonderful old word today -- "death-damp".

Apparently it's the cold, clammy sweat which breaks out just before death.

And I love this word.

As a writer, I suppose, really, I love all words. But, per my critique partner, there are certain words I love too much, and said words get excised frequently. But they aren't words like this one. They're just ordinary words. Death-damp, now that's a word.

I confess, I love words like this. Creepy, odd, weird words. That mean creepy, odd, weird things. All alone, they conjure up ideas and images that make me want to race to the computer or grab paper and pen in order to feverishly write them down.

I want to work death-damp into everything now. Of course, I write contemporary horror and dark urban fantasy. And death-damp is circa 1895. So it doesn't really fit with my m├ętier. (Please take a moment to appreciate the accent over the 'e'. That took me a while to get in here and my spouse seems underwhelmed by the result. Or perhaps by the effort it took. Sorry, continue.) But still, it's an amazing word, and surely worth the time it'll take to figure out how to work it in to a contemporary novel.

Then again, vampires and other undeads live a long time. I'll just have one of them use it. Over and over and over again. Problem solved.

Back to tumbling "death-damp" over and over in my mind. I love that word!

Yours,
J.G. Chase

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