Words are Power by Paty Jager

When I looked up the word “limbo” to make sure I was using it correctly, I found more than one meaning! That is what I love about words and using them to make stories. If you use a word one way it means one thing and the same word can mean something else when used in a different sentence.

The mystery of words has always fascinated me. When my, by one year, older than me brother started reading, I peered over his shoulder, capturing the words and discovering the sounds letters made if they were placed with this letter or a different letter.

Who came up with that? I mean over the centuries the various cultures and people came up with their own set of marks that made sense to them. But how did they distinguish the sounds each mark or letter made? How did they decide which letters together made which sounds?

For my Spotted Pony Casino mystery books, I’ve been incorporating Umatilla language words into the story. It helps to show the culture and bring a little more Indigenous feel to my characters who are Umatilla. I’ve listened to Youtube videos where they speak the language. It sounds so different from the words that are spelled out with unique characters.

The Indigenous languages were spoken long before the Anglo people arrived with their alphabet. How did they, the Indigenous people decide which of the Anglo alphabet worked for their words? I’ll have to ask a Umatilla linguist I know and see if he can help me with this, one of many question that stir around in my head at 2 AM the nights my brain won’t shut down.

Words are so useful and yet can also destroy a relationship, a person, even a country. Knowing the right words to string together is powerful. Or it can be destructive. Words are power!

Book three in the Spotted Pony Casino mysteries will be released in ebook and the following week in print.

Double Down

A donkey, a three-legged dog, and a war-scarred veteran outwit the killer.

Dela Alvaro is the main suspect in the stabbing death of a man she stopped from beating his wife to death.  The detective she abhors is ready to toss her in jail and not look for any other suspects. When FBI Special Agent Quinn Pierce is called in and Tribal Officer Heath Seaver is forbidden to work the case, Dela decides to find the killer.

Was it the wife, the drug dealer, or the man wanting to take over the victim’s business? Dela and Heath ask questions and work to prove her innocence. If she is found guilty not only will she lose her life but she’ll never be able to solve the secret of her father.  

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4 thoughts on “Words are Power by Paty Jager

  1. Loved this, Paty. Never thought about the origin of some words. I do know that Native languages are hard to pronounce from the way they are written. Have a Native friend whose first name is one I can’t pronounce. She kindly gave me a nickname to use.

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  2. Wonderful article, Paty. Indeed, the pen is mightier than the sword. I love words. When I find one that appeals to me, I often look up it’s history and origin, as if it’s a long lost ancestor, Then I try to use it in a sentence. My husband and I have long discussions about words. I call him a walking dictionary. It’s a rare word he doesn’t know or hasn’t at least heard of, but I try to stump him all the same! I think that’s the marriage between a retired English teacher and a writer for you. The love of words.

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    1. Heath, Thanks for commenting. My husband who until the age of seven spoke a different language, hearing how he pronounces words and uses a wrong word sometimes it constantly reminds me that language is hard for everyone.


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