Demonstrating verbal prowess
For writers like me, words are our currency, as well as our toys. We use them to earn a living, but we also enjoy playing with them, experimenting with their applications and test driving those we’ve newly acquired. In other words, we like to flaunt – show off – our verbal abilities.
Some writers, such as novelist William Faulkner, flout – or treat with scorn – literary convention by using words in an unusual way. His stream of consciousness writing style took readers of his era by surprise.
Flaunt and flout are two words that are often mistaken for one another, but they are actually dissimilar in both spelling and meaning. Flaunt – to show off boldly. Flout – to treat with scorn or contempt. Alas, not all writers who flout convention are able to do so with enough skill that they can later flaunt a Nobel Prize, as Mr. Faulkner could. If only. …