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:
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?