Friday, June 20, 2008


By Heather

Do you ever do the word jumbles in the newspaper? I love making my brain work unscrambling and twisting and sorting it all out.

But the other day a word (not jumbled) stopped me cold for a second. A word stumble, if you will.


Yes, upkeep.

I wrote it, paused, stared at it. Upkeep. Is it really a word? my brain asked. I was sure it was, but I had to check to be sure. It is, of course.

Every so often I come across this kind of stumble. Where I look at a word and doubt its existence. Some words are just so…ordinary? oddly put together? that I question whether I’m making it up or not.

I am a fiction writer, and yes, have been known to make up a word or two over the course of my career, but I’m hoping I’m not alone in having these little stumbles. Does this happen to anyone else? Which words?