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Spring has me writing with a two-letter prefix in mind.

Early wildflowers, on Forest Creek (Kathleen Kenna photo)


The Christian holiday of Easter has only renewed this preoccupation.


I’m thinking of words like arrows I draw from an invisible quiver, carefully drawing one at a time, measuring the target facing me.


Emboldened every time a word fits, I’m feeling muscular. (This has nothing to do with testosterone; look it up.)


I’m weighing the difference in language use across regions: Some use hyphens to separate the prefix with verbs; others use it in a more muscular way, without hyphens.

I prefer no hyphen.  That ‘re’ is critical.  It changes the meaning of a word, adds a depth and power that the word lacks when weakened with a punctuation pause.

Writers do this.  We’re filled with ideas that can’t wait to be put into type, yet we’ll delay over one word.  It has to be right, or it’s not worth writing.  (Or we’re stalling and just trying to find an excuse for not moving ideas from brain to keyboard.)


Many of us are curious about etymology, whether we studied Latin or not. It’s not enough to know a word’s origin.  We want to learn about how it has been transformed with time, how it’s used by different cultures, how its descriptive power has altered over generations.  We’re curious about its strength to convey ideas, in any era.

Business writing is more muscular.  It speeds ahead without hyphens or any care for a word’s roots. No one cares how this word reached us.  We only want to know if it can be abbreviated, reduced to acronyms, or translated into some kind of -ese that fits our always-pressing need.


It’s a season of renewal, a time for reverence for many.  I’m grateful for a writer’s wandering mind in spring.  I’m re-imagining everything.

Wildflowers amid Douglas firs, on Forest Creek. (Kathleen Kenna photo)