Sluice – definition: 1) an artificial passage for water with a gate for controlling its flow; 2) a channel that carries off surplus water; 3) a long sloping trough (as for floating logs to a sawmill)
English: Sluice (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
What an amazing difference between these two water courses. One leaves us with thoughts of stale smelly water while the other is a thing of ingenuity and beauty. Both are methods of manipulating the flow of water to the human desire but the first is more of a practical bare bones nature compared to the ethestically pleasing structure in Italy.
This is a perfect example of how we can manipulate our words to give our readers a particular vision or image. As I looked at the first sluice I thought – dirty, smelly, slime, old, crumbling, ugly, decrepit. Whilst the second – bright, shiny, ingenious, metal, esthetically pleasing.
See this re-blogged post about the power of words.
Just saying this word conquers up lazy summer days, lying on the beach or a lush green lawn looking upward in that happy childlike innocence. Here in Alberta we are very fortunate to have cerulean skies a large part of the year, yes even when its -37 degrees!
I remember waking up the first morning I had emigrated here and thinking ‘how cool a nice sunny blue skied day to welcome us’. Never imagining that I would wake up for the next eight days welcomed with the very same thing! Coming from England, which has cloud cover the majority of the time it was amazing.
The other thing I came to notice about the Albertan sky was how huge it was. Now I know that seems like a strange thing to say but it does seem to stretch forever upward and horizontally. My theory is that the land mass is so large and flat that there is no ‘interruption’ to your view. Even the clouds are different! Each has a ‘flat’ bottom instead of soft fluffy curves. Again this may be due to the prairie lands affecting them. In England we glimpsed the sky through dense trees and hills. A very different landscape where clouds were massive and covered vast areas of the sky.
As you can see from just one word a myriad of images and ideas can come to mind. Using such words enables a writer to create a sense of time and place for their readers, without having to describe them in minute detail. Too much description tends to ‘shut your reader off’ so your use of words is vitally important. Yes its that old adage ‘show not tell’, which raises its head time and time again.