Monday, January 24, 2011

Guest Post: Dear Diary from The Hot Word

Nice Interpretation of the song

Gotta love that ending, "Somebody exploded an H-bomb today, but it wasn't anybody I knew."

Diaries can be about any number of things.  A food diary can be helpful tracing sources of indigestion or possible food allergies.  Samuel Pepys kept one that became quite famous.

A health diary, a menstrual cycle diary, a dream diary, all can help us track things we might want to refer to, later.  Snooping in her mama's diary leads Amanda Seyfried to the fun and frolic of the Meryl Streep movie Mamma Mia.  (Lesson: Don't record all your sexcapades in a diary unless you're comfortable with shocking your descendants!)

Dear diary . . . What’s the word for the qualities that make your writing unique? The Hot Word

Science magazine recently released a study on the effects of diary writing for college and high school students. The results showed that students experiencing test anxiety and who wrote about their disquiet in a diary right before the exam performed better on the test by half a grade.

Dictionaries and diaries are old friends; what better way to learn new words than expressing your thoughts in writing? We welcome this bit of educational news as an excuse to talk about the precise origin of “diary” and some of its history.

Diary comes from the Latin word diarium. You’ll recognize the first part of that word as di-, “day” in modern English. The suffix “-arium” and it’s more modern equivalent “-ary” show up in many words you use every day: library, stationary, revolutionary. If you haven’t guessed already, the suffix means “in connection with or pertaining to.” A diary is just that, a daily log that records the events that happened over the course of the day. The playwright Ben Jonson, a contemporary of Shakespeare, was the original shortener of diarium to diary. The word first appeared in 1605 in his play Volpone.
For the rest of the article, which also explains the difference between diaries and journals, click HERE.

But since I'm not going to be fussy about the difference, here's two good links about journaling, which is pretty darn close to keeping a diary:

eHow - a page with many links about different kinds of journaling.
Journal for You has lots of good links, though I found the bright red fonts and graphics a smidge off-putting.

A blog, of course, is also a type of journal.  Journals can be about thoughts, ideas, impressions, diet, movies, books...  You can relieve tension through journaling just as you can by making a diary entry.  Sometimes when you're at a stopping place in your novel or screenplay, by journaling you can find the words flowing again.

What do you journal about or record in a diary?
(And where do you keep the key?)
Leave your comments, below.