Monday, November 18, 2013

Word of the Week - Dash - and a Winner!

First of all, I did do the drawing last week for the winner of the digital of one of the Ellie Sweet books, and the lucky duck was

Kirstin Whitener!

Congrats, Kirstin! I know you'll love them!!

This week I'll be starting a giveaway for a signed paperback of The Unlikely Debut of Ellie Sweet, so if you were holding out for the hard copy, stop back by later!

And now on to our word of the week. =)

Any historical writer knows that a big challenge in writing authentic dialogue is trying to find era-appropriate exclamations...especially when writing for the Christian market and wanting to avoid any that venture toward cursing. And one can only use "blast it" so many times, LOL. I've looked up a lot of these over the years, and figuring out their etymology is always fun.
The Broken Vase by Harry Watrous, circa 1900

Today, we're taking a look at dash, which I have used a time or two. The verb dash dates from about 1300 and comes from a Danish word that means "to beat, to strike." And so, the oldest English sense is of something getting "dashed to pieces"...including the metaphorical "dashed hopes." Around the same time, it also took on the transitive sense of "to move quickly," which lead to the noun by the late 1300s.

Round about 1726, it began being applied to hurried writing (to dash a letter to someone...), but it took until 1881 for it to be applied to a race, originally one run in one heat.

And now back I go to dash a few more words into A Soft Breath of Wind before it's time to start school. ;-)


  1. Hiya,

    I know that this is a little out of place to put this ... but I just wanted to say that I live in the UK, and use the iBookstore - only two of your books are available on it: Jewel of Persia and A Stray Drop of Blood. For some odd reason your other books just aren't there on the UK store.

    Dash it all but it's disappointing!

    Congratulations to Kirstin :)

    1. Dash it all, indeed! I didn't realize the others weren't there! (Perhaps because I'm not in the UK, LOL.) I can put a question to my publisher and see what they say. Hmmm.

    2. Okay, I got an answer from Harvest House, who said it's just that the iBookstore they submit through hasn't yet expanded to the U.K.--not something they can change. They did, however, say that they're available there through Eden.Co.Uk, Amazon, and possibly B&N (she isn't completely sure of B&N). I know those may not be your preferred shopping places, but they are expanding to the UK as the platforms allow. Probably no help right now, LOL.

  2. Okay, thank you very much for looking into it and responding! I have enjoyed reading your books. (Though in 'A Stray Drop of Blood' Jason died ... say whaaaaaattt?! Still, made for a very 'I-really-don't-know-how-this-is-going-to-end-up' read :D).

    1. Just realized - what if someone who hadn't read A Stray Drop of Blood read the above comment? I would have spoiled the book with a spoiler ... oh no! Eeek! Sorry :(

    2. No worries. ;-) I doubt there will be too many people reading the comments on this post who haven't read ASDoB. And that was one of those things I had planned from the beginning of the story--it was the whole premise of the story--but I didn't know it was going to be so HARD when it came time to write it! LOL. Funny how attached we get...

  3. Interesting how words change. But look how people have changed the words from some years ago to mean different things, like coke being a drug, etc. And, I may be wrong but I think Dash is a phrase used in running races, etc now. I don't have any of your books but have tried to win a lot. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com