I can’t decide whether words are versatile or simply promiscuous. I keep using the same batch — a reflection of a limited vocabulary, perhaps — for different projects. In the morning, I take those words and slam them into some strange novel about a cult-survivor, then, an hour later, I put them into a paper about James Joyce.
In fact, when I was writing that academic paper — and while preparing another on Woolf — I could have sworn that those authors, people dead since 1941, used some of my words.
I am surprised that I can take the same word — something like “reflection” — and use it here in a blog, in an analysis of modernist narrative technique, and in a novel. I’m using one word in three ways and three contexts and still, it cooperates.
Part of me wants to say, “Hey. Stand up for yourself. Show some pride. Tell me, ‘I’ll only work in creative fiction.'” But usually, I’m just callous and ungrateful, taking advantage of those poor words and their desire to serve. Does that make me a bad person?
Maybe I should get around to learning French and pick on another language.