{Freehand Friday} Spicy verbs create taste bud titillating copy

When I was but a wee lass living in the middle of God’s country, I had trouble swallowing.

Promptly remove your mind from the gutter, please.

This difficulty was one of many delightful side effects of Muscular Dystrophy. It was so difficult in fact that I had a g-tube surgically implanted in my stomach so I could receive nourishment in order to survive.

Talk about an attachment disorder.

One day when I was about the age of two, I was sitting on my parents’ bed while my mother wrote in her daily log of family activities. My big, beautiful eyes were glistening a particularly angelic shade of blue that day mostly because I was about to do something devilish.

While she was recalling the exact details of our every misadventure from the day before, I was plotting to devour the poor soul of a candy bar.
Wrinkled wrapper rattling.
Transfixed toddler giggling.
Mesmerized mouth chewing.
Entranced esophagus swallowing.
Satisfied stomach digesting.


To my mother’s amazement a child, who wasn’t supposed to ever know the excitement of edibility, was actually preforming the act of eating.

Over the next few weeks I underwent several swallow tests at my doctor’s office.

These swallow tests were quite interesting, and at the same time, devastatingly tedious.

During these tests, I would be fed obnoxious combinations of food.


Crispy celery slathered in coagulated cottage cheese.
Roasted risotto smeared on bland bread.
Smokey sausage swabbed with portly peanut butter.


While I was desperately trying to eat these foods without vomiting, technicians would take x-rays of my head, neck, chest, and stomach. My doctor could evaluate my ability to swallow based on these radiographs.

Turned out that my ability to swallow was A-Okay. Eventually, my g-tube was removed, and my unhealthy dietary habits ensued.

When it comes to writing, you need to liven up your usual repertoire. You need to seek out innovative words to keep your writing worth reading.

This can be accomplished by spicing up your use of verbs.

If you don’t know what a verb is, look it up. We occupy the 21st century. I’m sure you own grownup underwear. Find a pair of your prettiest and place them on your person in the appropriate position. Then, find a dictionary.

The verbs you use on a regular basis are undoubtedly boring.




You probably use these unsavory verbs 1,569 times each day.

All of these are Eisenhower general.

But let’s see what happens when you substitute more specific verbs into your sentences.


For example:

She ate the candy bar.

This is a bland, tasteless sentence.


Now let’s spice that sentence up!

She tasted the candy bar.

This is a subtle flame chili sentence.


She gobbled the candy bar.

This is a fiery orange habanero sentence.


She scarfed the candy bar.

This is red hot jalapeño sentence.


Every alternative verb gives more detail about how she ate the candy bar. Your mental image of the girl changes with each new verb. You imagine her sitting daintily while she tasted the candy bar, whereas you imagine her hunching over the candy bar in a zombie-esque position while she scarfed it down.

Using specific verbs adds exciting flavor to your writing that ultimately spices up your message.


Spicy verbs create taste bud titillating copy.



Keep in mind that what you write is competing with mountainous piles of other writing online. You need to make every word you write count. Spicy verbs convey so much more than generic action words. If you use peppery verbs, you’ll ignite readers and get noticed.

Remember, use spicy verbs, but not obscure ones. Don’t go cherry pepper crazy all over your readers’ asses by choosing verbs they won’t or don’t understand.

Me circa 1985 just after eating the candy bar. Apparently it was quite important to brush my hair afterwards.

Me circa 1985 just after eating the candy bar. Apparently it was quite important to brush my hair afterwards.

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