Monday January 26, 2004

Words, Words, Words

[ Today's meme is courtesy of Past, Present, Future Round 49 ]
PAST: The quality of our thoughts can only be as good as the quality of our language, for words are the very core of thought. How diligent were you at building your vocabulary, when you were a youngster?

PRESENT:What's the most recent addition to your vocabulary?

FUTURE:What word would you like to see added to the general lexicon... and what word would you like to see removed?

raisingduncan_wad

PAST: ...How diligent were you at building your vocabulary, when you were a youngster?

Acutely, exceedingly, exceptionally, extraordinarily, hugely, immensely, intensely, markedly, notably, quite, remarkably, surpassingly, totally, ultra, unusually, utterly, very, vitally.

I loved vocabulary as a kid; my Mom helped me build my weekly vocabulary list for school by quizzing me from Reader's Digest's Word Power column.

PRESENT:What's the most recent addition to your vocabulary?

con-spec-tus n.

  1. A general survey of a subject.
  2. 2. A synopsis.
I wanted a word that meant something like summery but not quite, so I went on a word hunt :-) This is what I chose.

FUTURE:What word would you like to see added to the general lexicon...?

English is such a marvelously flexible language. Words spring into existence or fade into obscurity with equal ease. Words bend, twist, morph, and invert their meanings; they bud, spawn, and split iinto myriad new words at the twist of a tongue. It's no wonder English is called a living language.

English is a sticky language. Use a word once, share it with one other person, and that word is forever real. We need no formal lexicon to give credence to a word; we only have to use it. Laser, modem, blog. Glom, gallumph, grok. Only speak it thus and it shall be.

I make up words all the time. One of my favorites is sprizzle (a form of rain somewhere between a sprinkling and a drizzle). Feel free to use it. We'll see how far it goes.

...and what word would you like to see removed?

Would taking a word out of the lexicon remove it from people's brains as well? (Unlikely, but this is, after all, an exercise in imagination.) If 'twere so, I might ask the genie to remove some of the most over-used old Anglo Saxon 4-letter expletives such as F*ck and Sh*t. Maybe, if 80% of their vocabulary list magically disappeared, more people would be forced to come up with new words to express themselves. But, then again, do I really want to know what such people would choose as substitutes?

Words, Words, Words ( in category Memes & Prompts , Verbatim ) - posted at Mon, 26 Jan, 16:21 Pacific | «e»