I love words. Not just any words, I love big, juicy vocabulary words. Those words for things for which you didn’t know there was a name.
It has taken me a while to recognize this love because I think a lot of us have been drilled in school to see vocabulary as a chore, a dreaded task to memorize a list of words that we have never heard before and never will again. Recently, I saw an article saying that they were going to take word analogies off the SAT, and I was so happy to hear this that I thought it would be news that everyone would want to hear. Finally, they understand that words are for context, not to abuse in poor highschoolers’ minds.
I think my love for words was always present, hidden in my determination to look up unknown words that I came across in books. (Or maybe that was my stubborn determination that if an author and editor thought that word was good enough to use, then I wanted to know it too.) But I rediscovered my love of words while I was teaching my son about science. I learned the word crepuscular.
All of us know the word nocturnal- to be awake and active at night, but I hadn’t even known the word crepuscular existed. And yet I find it extremely useful. Why do you see deer in morning and evening hours? Because they are crepuscular, as are mosquitos. Yes, I got very excited over this strange new word.
Recently, I signed up for a word a day program, and sometimes I just want to tell everyone my new word. Yummy words for things that explain a feeling exactly!
Petrichor: the smell of rain on dry earth…I love this smell!
Apricity: the warmth of sun in the winter…I love to sit by my window on a sunny day and enjoy apricity.
Gongoozle: to stare, gaze at a body of water…How many of us haven’t done this?
My word this week is: Ultracrepidarian: someone who talks about a subject they know nothing about. I can think of a few cases for this word!
What words do you love that should be added to our vocabulary.?
Shaleen Kapil spends a lot of time learning new words as she helps her 2nd grader practice for the spelling bee. She is the author of None But You, a sweet romance available in ebook & print formats.