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A.Word.A.Day--Walter Mitty

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Walter Mitty (wol-tuhr MIT-ee) noun

An ordinary, often ineffectual person who indulges in fantastic daydreams of personal triumphs.

[After the main character in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber.]

"The men you see rolling over the zoysia at 5 miles per hour are pretending to be Mario Andretti at Indianapolis. Nothing draws Walter Mitty from a soul like the sound of a riding lawn mower engine." Rheta Grimsley Johnson, Roar of the mower helps build a woman's psyche, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, May 1, 1998.

One of the most important ingredients of fiction is its characters. Think of any memorable book, play or movie and you'll recall its people--from protagonist (and deuteragonist and tritagonist and ...) to antagonist are folks one can feel, relate to, though not necessarily always agree with. These are the people with depths, they are not cardboard characters or people who live a 2D life, to use the publishing jargon. These multifaceted people come alive on the pages of a book, on the stage of a theater, or on the screen of a movie theater with all their foibles, follies and victories. Perhaps the ultimate sign of their character is that they live on on the pages of dictionaries. This week's AWAD focuses on a few of these fictional persons who came alive and added a bit more color to our language. -Anu


The palest ink is better than the best memory. -Chinese proverb

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