Consider this a mini-post, something I ran across in my tippy-tapping way and just had to share.
I do all of my fiction writing in Scrivener. The program doesn’t have the greatest spell-check, but it does have the requisite handy-dandy, built-in dictionary/thesaurus. Some entries have extra features, like a Word Spectrum to help you distinguish where your word falls in meaning relative to similar words. Others have a Choose the Right Word discussion box to help you–shockingly–choose the right word among a group of synonyms, or an Origins box discussing … well, it’s not super hero stories.
You might recall that I have a love of distinctively Southern turns of phrase (see my post on Southern Charm in Translation). Yesterday I was checking to see if setup is hyphenated (it is not) and eventually made my way to this Word Note under the phrases associated with “fix.” (Have you noticed in this story that I can’t even be trusted to not procrastinate with a digital dictionary? I tell you, it’s a gift. I am Mistress Procrastinatrix.) According to Scrivener, “Conversational, opinionated, and idiomatic, these Word Notes are an opportunity to see a working writer’s perspective on a particular word or usage.” I’m guessing the author of this Word Note was a Son or Daughter of the South who heard this a lot growing up.
If you grew up in the South, you used this expression a lot, and no other synonymous phrase—not preparing to, not getting ready to or about to —quite conveys the combination of determined intent with a hint of threat, as in, “Look out, I’m fixing to come over there….”
[Photo of dictionary by Sonja Langford from stocksnap.io]