Monday, January 10, 2011

Strong Verbs and the Art Institute


“As a creative person, it’s good to visit places like the Art Institute; they always inspire you in unexpected ways,” I said to my daughter as we left the Art Institute of Chicago last Friday.

“So how did you get inspired today?” she promptly asked.
“Well,” I said, “as the curator was talking about the engine in Magritte’s Time Transfixed ‘belching smoke,’ I thought, ‘what a great strong verb,’ and immediately wrote it down in my notebook.”
So, on the way home, we sat on the bus and made a list of strong verbs relating to bodily movements/functions. It’s a great occupation on the bus, and as we all know, stronger verbs make for more vivid writing. We quickly realized that we needed to organize the verbs by body parts, so here’s our list for the head (Do you have any to add?):

belch
bite
chew
cough
gape
gnaw
groan
gurgle
hiss
moan
nod
scream
slobber
sneeze
sniff
snore
spit
squeal
stutter
wail
weep
whimper
whine
whisper
whistle
wink

4 comments:

  1. Great exercise for all who write and are looking for those active verbs. How about adding:

    drool
    yell
    blink
    hear
    listen
    stare

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  2. Blink! How could we have missed that? Goes to show that when you're straining to do something specific, the most obvious doesn't necessarily come to mind. Thanks, Nancy, for adding.

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  3. Not sure I fully understand the exercise, but how about these:

    smile
    grimace
    butt or headbutt
    scowl
    snarl

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  4. Norman, nice to see you here! I like your additions. Notice how those are all nouns as well?

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