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A Frightening Halloween


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Or more.

Paul, I'd leave the word counting up to your word processing program--probably Microsoft Word?--because that's what any editor/publisher who receives your work is going to do.

I was too lazy to do that. Besides, why let some soulless piece of software decide such things when we have creative writer-types around to dream up more imaginative arguments?

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I used Microsoft Word's word count to match the 200 word limit, and it counts hyphenated words as one word. So, "thirteen-and-a-half-year-old-teenager" would be one word instead of seven (I'd never write it that way if I ever had to use it in a story — though I doubt that I'd ever use that string of words). When I submitted a story with several hyphenated words to GA their word count matched mine (I don't know what tool they use for word count). They list the word count of stories and chapters in their index. They don't count the title or byline or blurb in the word count, and I don't either.

Anyway, I think "clappity-BUMP" is funny. And so is the horrible pun at the end.

Colin :icon_geek:

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Onomatopoeia. What a wonderful word.

Personally, I'd count any hyphenated word as one word. I guess that make ring-around-the-rosy one word. Using James' suggestion, I found MS Word does count it as one.


I think that's illegal in most of the South. Unless it's with a cousin.

Both are fodder for a story. Especially James' suggestion. It could be a funny story: a boy is suspended for using a word that is an onomatopoeia in a story. His mother is an attorney and she takes the school, the Vice Principal, and the teacher to court for the suspension. They extend his suspension until the trial is over, so he has to be home schooled. Several kids from his classes bring him homework every few days, and they all become friends. He falls for one of them and it's reciprocated, but he finds out that boy is his distant cousin. The problem: are they distant enough for it to be legal in Georgia?

My work is done here. Over to you, James.

Colin :icon_geek:

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He falls for one of them and it's reciprocated, but he finds out that boy is his distant cousin. The problem: are they distant enough for it to be legal in Georgia?

Colin :icon_geek:

Put it in Arkansas and it's not a problem.

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Here in Virginia folks like to make "cousin" jokes and other rude comments* about the inhabitants of West Virginia, next door. Its interesting (and alarming) how easily various locales all over the world seem to make a scapegoat out of other places just around the corner or across a state line.

Virginians seem to feel justified in belittling West Virginians not only because its mountainous terrain encouraged distinctly different cultural developments thought by Virginians to be inferior to their own, but also because West Virginia was originally part of Virginia, and seceded from Virginia at the outbreak of the Civil War in protest against the Confederacy and its basis for the war. Virginians have never forgotten nor forgiven any of the slights caused by the war.

*(Example: 'What do you call a girl in West Virginia who can run faster than her brothers'? Answer: 'A virgin')

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That's really disturbing. If we consider a generation to be a term of approximately 25 years, then it's been at least six generations since the Civil War. That means the kids today would have had great great great great grandfathers involved in the politics back then. It's really disappointing that they'd be carrying the same grudges today they had then.


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