Writing
Comments 15

Love for the Written Word

words

It has been often said that a writer who does not have a love for the written word cannot succeed.  I honestly don’t know how true this is, but I know I love words – I enjoy reading them and it is pure pleasure to use words to create.  Where this love came from, I don’t know.  It certainly wasn’t learned from the grownups around me when I was young, because I am the only reader in the family.

In grade school, I remember reading book after book after book, without any prodding from my teachers, except in first grade when  I was fortunate enough to have a teacher who encouraged me to read on.

As an adult, I became a feature writer and a word collector.  Yes, I collect words.  I store them in a file in my computer and visit my collection every now and then .  Everyday I add a word to my collection.  I gather words to nourish and feed my soul.  I thought it was an odd thing to want to collect words until recently, when I read Priscilla Long’s book, “The Writer’s Portable Mentor.”  In the early pages of the book, Long dedicated one chapter to the love of words.

What I call word collection, Priscilla Long calls word gathering.  Says Long:  “The writers of deep and beautiful words spend real-time gathering words.”  Long encourages writers to regular allocate time to gather words.  She calls this the “Lexicon Practice.”  She suggests keeping a notebook where each gathered word is given half a page where one can play with the word in various ways.

It would certainly be great to someday have a Lexicon notebook of my own, but with much on my plate, for now I settle for the convenience of storing them in a computer file.

Long suggests writing words that catches one’s fancy on the Lexicon notebook.  Again, maybe someday.

For now, I settle for my daily emails from Wordsmith:the magic of words. Today, A.Word.A.Day with Anu Garg taught me these thing about the word sagacious:

sagacious

PRONUNCIATION:

(suh-GAY-shuhs) 

MEANING:

adjective: Having keen judgment or wisdom.

ETYMOLOGY:

From Latin sagire (to perceive keenly). Ultimately from the Indo-European root sag- (to seek out), which is also the source of seek, ransack, ramshackle, forsake, and hegemony. Earliest documented use: 1607.

USAGE:

“Even Warren Buffett is looking less than sagacious after his holding company posted its worst year ever.”
The Long and the Short; The Economist (London, UK); Mar 12, 2009.

Explore “sagacious” in the Visual Thesaurus.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:

It is better to prevent crimes than to punish them. -Cesare Beccaria, philosopher and politician (1738-1794)

Yes, I get a bonus quotation as a side dish!

Do you collect words too?

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15 Comments

  1. I enjoyed this post a lot.
    Yes, I enjoy writing, and would suspect that a writer would indeed have an enjoyment of words.
    I also like the idea of word collecting, because, and this is something I’ve written about many times, hearing the same concept or idea presented with a different word can make all the difference to how it is received by people.
    Some words seem ridiculous when first encountered, others may have a lovely flow to the eye or the ear.

    Thanks for the reminder, and an idea for a new article myself!
    Gordon

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    • I’m sure you’ll love collecting words too! It’s a fun activity that teases and encourages the muse! Happy collecting!

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  2. You just gave me a wonderful idea!! I home school my 11 year old son & he has always had a horrible time learning to spell. Maybe he can start making a word collection & using his words in different ways to help him remember how to spell them. I’m definitely going to try this, thank you!

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    • Oh, I hope your son will enjoy having his own lexicon! Glad you found inspiration for your son! Here’s wishing him lots of fun times collecting words!

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  3. jocelynkelly says

    If I were to ever go back to school, I’d love to study linguistics. Language is so magical and moving. I love the idea of having a Lexicon notebook. It’s very inspiring.

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  4. I do collect words. In fact, Rosanna, I’ve complied enough to send out one a week to my list, in a similar fashion you displayed above. It was a mini-brainstorm to keep engaged with my readers, supporters, and those who follow me. Loved your post!

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    • What a wonderful idea, PeggyLee. I’ll drop in sometime to check out your word collection. Glad you visited.

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  5. This is so me as well! I read through books so fast when I was younger. Every kind..the classics, romance, the silly ones. I couldn’t get enough. Then I worked in the library throughout school and took every English class I could. I also collect words..they soothe my soul.

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  6. Thank you for the link to this! It’s really nice to know word collecting is a hobby, so-to-speak, of so many more people than I had thought!

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