Wednesday Writing Prompts

Introducing something new, a writing prompt every Wednesday, to do with what you will.

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Here’s the background:

I needed to print something.

I remembered that we were low on ink.

I called out to my beloved, “Could you please change the ribbon?

He asked, “What ribbon?”

I sighed and remembered what century it is.

“The ink cartridge. Could you please change the ink cartridge?”

Here’s the prompt:

What is a word that we don’t use any more for something that we still do or use?


When I was growing up, older adults said “dungarees” for “blue jeans” and “ice box” for refrigerator. Somewhere between 1975 and 1985, “jogging” became “running.” At some point as a nation we stopped using participles and nouns (“unveiling” and “request”) and started using verbs as noun (“the reveal,” “the ask.”) Tee shirts used to be “undershirts.” Now they’re just “tees.”

Here are possible ways to use the prompt:

  1. Have one character use a word that the other doesn’t understand, as an aside or as a catalyst for crisis, to show the difference in age without using numbers.
  2. Write a poem using the old word for something as the title, perhaps the memory of a moment.
  3. In WWII, escaped prisoners gave away that they were Americans by the way they used their knife and fork in France. Create a scenario in which the use of a term gives away something about a character.
  4. Nonfictionistas, write about a time you used a word that everyone knew when you were younger and people don’t know now.


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