Shapeshifting 13 #64 Kickoff

July 27, 2016

Welcome, Ghoul Friends!

I am literally happy to have you here!


Literally? No, I am actually, in reality, to have you here, but that word has become wildly popular in recent history. I don’t know whether people are using the word ironically or if they literally don’t understand what “literally” means, and it’s kind of shocking. The usage of this word has become ever popular in television and movies, and I am literally baffled by this. I find etymology fascinating, and I’m curious as to why certain words come into popularity–this word is no different. Why did “literally” become so popular, especially when it’s being used incorrectly?!

“I’m literally dying to know!”

Over the years, we’ve seen other words come into popularity: “What’s your damage, Heather?!” “Don’t forget to beat that mug before you leave the house!” “That’s stellarTubularRadical!” And this got me wondering: What other words have come into common usage and are used way too often, and often incorrectly or out of context? What words do you use all the time that others may find interesting or strange? What word would you, if you had the chance, bring into common and constant usage, and why?

Before we get to our new challenge series, here are a few important reminders:

  • On the last Friday of each month, we will celebrate a fellow writer here at Grammar Ghoul Press, in a segment we’re calling “Celebrating the Ghouls”! If you’re interested in being a part of this project, please email out past celebrations here. We have a new celebration going live this Friday!
  • Our Lair is currently taking a hiatus, as is our Mutant 750 challenge. Should either one open up, we’ll announce it here!
  • The Shapeshifting 13 goes live every Wednesday at Noon ET. The grid will stay open until Sunday at 8:00 p.m., after which voting will open. Voting ends on Monday at 8:00 p.m., so you get about 24 hours to read and vote for your favorites pieces. Winners will be announced in a separate post on Tuesday at Noon ET. Further details can be found here.

We are continuing our latest challenge series this week:

Inquisitive Ghouls

In this challenge series, you will be tasked with creating a story or poem, still adhering to our shapeshifting word count, that answers a question. Your story can be in the form of direct dialogue or a narrative. All we ask is that the story answers the question. The question is the prompt! It will be direct enough to prompt you, but vague enough for your creativity to be fueled. For example, if we asked, “Who let the dogs out,” we wouldn’t be providing you very much to go on. But if we asked, “Why did you let the dogs out,” well, now, there’s suddenly room for you to tell us a grand-ol’ story! I don’t presume this to be an easy challenge, especially with the fluctuating word-count, so the question difficulty may ease with lower word-counts, and the vagueness may increase as our word count grows from week to week. For this first go-around, we will have a five-week challenge series, but we would like your feedback. Is this challenge series too difficult? Too easy? Simply not fun? Do you have suggestions to improve this challenge series? Or do you simply have a challenge series in mind that you’d like to share for our consideration? Please let us know in the comments section below!

Last week for THE SHAPESHIFTING 13 challenge, you were tasked with creating a story or poem in just 39 words. This week, in exactly 52 words, your challenge is to write a story or poem that answers the following question:

What is that smell?


The General Shapeshifting 13 Rules:

  •  Challenge submissions must be fiction or poetry.
  •    Submissions must be exactly the number of words specified; no more, no less.
  •    Submissions must use the prompt as directed.
  •    Submissions should be written in response to the challenge, so they shouldn’t pre-date the kickoff post.
  •    One submission per person.
  •    Please put lengthy explanations at the end of your post, not at the beginning.
  •    Don’t forget to add the code for the challenge badge to your post.
  •    When voting, you are on the honor to not vote for your own piece.

Now, while you’re getting ready to post those wonderful words, don’t forget to grab the Shapeshifting 13 #64 badge from the right side of the page, and insert it into your post. Remember, you have until Sunday @ 8pm Eastern Time to submit something. Have fun!

Until next time, au revoir, and SHARE THE GEEKDOM!

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  • Paz Spera July 27, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    The controversial case of Alanis Morisette’s use of “ironic” comes to mind

  • Leara Morris-Clark July 27, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    What is means when you say literally by The Oatmeal

    • TNKerr July 31, 2016 at 8:39 am

      Ha ha ha. That’s pretty good, that!