To have slunk away?

Because I am often second-guessing myself, and because experience has taught me to proofread at least one more time after I know the writing is perfect, I reread the blog about the fox today. I kept getting stuck at the word “slunk.” It’s not a word I use often. I don’t think I’ve read it often, either.

Wondering if I’d used it properly, because it sounds funny, I thought about the alternatives: The fox had slinked; The fox slunk; The fox had slunk. Oh, mercy, maybe he had simply crawled away!

I thought about my reference books but I don’t have anything with verb conjugations. (It would be a thick book.) Then I remembered the Internet. Sure enough, “verb conjugation” came up with 9,680,000 results and this wonderful page, which is now in my “Favorites” folder, along with a thesaurus, encyclopedia and several dictionary sites:

I feel better now.


About janets123

Children's writer, newspaper columnist, essayist, poet, storyteller
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9 Responses to To have slunk away?

  1. Tabitha Shay says:

    Love the blog…We used to live way out in the country and one day there was a
    fox standing on the side of the road and oh my gosh, it was beautiful…it was
    so deep a red, it almost looked blue or like blue flames…I don’t know how to
    describe it, but it was breathtaking…it’s the one and only time I’ve ever seen
    one in the wild…we saw plenty of rattlers, in fact, I almost stepped on one
    early one morning…much too close for comfort…I will never know what kept it
    from striking me because it was certainly in strike mode, all coiled up and
    rattling its little warning, and my foot hovering over it, but it didn’t strike
    and dummy me, I walked right up on it. Even though it gave me plenty of warning,
    I had no idea what the whirring noise was I was hearing…the rattling is quite soft,
    doesn’t sound as loud as it does on TV…lol…I can tell you, I’ll never
    forget that faint buzzing though and will definitely know what it is if I ever hear it
    in the wild again….Tabs.

    • janets123 says:

      Tabs, I love your description of a red fox that looked blue. I have all sorts of snake stories from the four years I lived in the wilderness. Almost all of them end with “I quietly slunk away.”

      • Tabitha Shay says:

        Aww, Thx, Janet…it was honestly like seeing cobalt blue flames. I’ve never seen anything like it before or since, but it made me instantly realize why women used to love to wear fox furs or stoles….but I’d rather see the animal running free and wild….Hugs….Connie

  2. maragen says:

    I would have thought it was slink, slank, slunk but I didn’t see any slanks at that site! :o)

    • janets123 says:

      He slinks, he is slinking, he slunk. That’s why I looked it up! Isn’t that a great website for an author, or even a letter writer? I’m going to use it for “wake” too, as that’s another troublesome verb for me.

  3. JJ says:

    Speaking of proofing, did I ever tell you of how FIVE degreed people all carefully proofread a rack card at the college prior to a $500 print run? They arrived with a huge, all-caps “ELLIGIBLE” on them… just as it was on the approved proof. Still, it’s better than the recent ‘incident’ with the University of Texas at Austin Commencement Program; the desperately needed the extra “L” from our rack card:

    • janets123 says:

      “Pubic” affairs? Yep, that’s bad; deserves a reprint. But “elligible” in all caps? Eh, not so much. I’ll wager 3/4 of the people didn’t notice and of those who did, many thought “Oh, I’ve been spelling it WRONG all these years?” ;D

  4. JJ says:

    And, I just left a ‘y’ out of “they” in my own post on proofreading!

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