It Is Time Writers … For Another Words on Words . . .


Hello and Welcome Writers and Readers,

Today’s Word? WORDS

Evelyn Waugh was a 20th century author of such works as Brideshead Revisited and Men At Arms. I recently read a quote of his: “One forgets words as one forgets names. One’s vocabulary needs constant fertilizing or it will die.”

Wow! I realized what my calling is; I’m a fertilizer. A word fertilizer. Awesome. Especially if we accept that we truly need words just to survive. At some point, in a galaxy far, far away, words may become superfluous as we develop mind melds and thought transference, or so they tell us.  But living in the here and now, they are one of our most important assets.  If we had not developed the ability to communicate through words, civilization as we know it could not have occurred. We would still be sitting in caves, grunting and motioning to each other.

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So, all right, we need words, but don’t we already have plenty? Gauging my answer on the size of my unabridged dictionary, of course we do.  But as Waugh so conveniently points out, we lose the really good ones all the time.  I remember being a freshman in college and not understanding my professor’s vocabulary.  I dutifully copied down the words, phonetically, and looked them up.  And fell in love with words.

My sense is that for many folks today vocabulary is not important. Shortcuts (like ‘bro’ and ‘sup’), initialisms that shrink whole phrases into two or three letters (LOL and OMG), and body language (high fives and fist bumps) seem to be reducing our vocabularies at an alarming rate.

So I intend to tend to my vocabulary garden with fierce tenderness, strict adherence to definitions, and constant watchfulness for new and useful words. And to fertilize regularly.

Of course, I’ll share my findings with all of you.

Until Next Time Friends!

Ellie Pulikonda, Writer/Author

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