Throughout history we have always been fascinated with words. We in the English language have 26 letters with which to enrich our life, enhance our conversation and embellish our vocabulary. The vast array of words available is so exciting to me. I have always been a `wordy girl`, reveling in the glory of verbose vernacular (see, i told you!).
One of my favourite websites is askoxford.com, which apart from being in my opinion the best free dictionary online, is startlingly interesting. For instance, they have a word of the day feature. YES! Today`s word of the day is :
Definition of opprobrious
(of language) expressing scorn or criticism: opprobrious remarks
YES! It`s amazing.
They also have featured authors and word games and a whole host of fun things for the wordy among you.
While we are on the subjects of dictionaries, I have two other much loved and less conventional dictionaries to recommend.
The first is the Penguin rhyming dictionary.
For anyone who is a writer, or a poet, or just wants to be facetious, a rhyming dictionary is a must. Who would not thrill to the sound of `coddle, doddle, model, noddle, broddle, toddle, waddle, swaddle, twaddle, remodel, mollycoddle, niddle-noddle`.
The other is `The Bibliophile`s Dictionary`by Miles Westley.
It has whole sections devoted to subjects such as: Personality traits, The lowly and corrupt, Knowledge language and philosophy, Greek and roman myths, and so on and so on.
It contains delightful gems such as Afflatus:a sudden rush of creative impulse. Another terrific example is Virago:A quarrelsome, domineering or shrewish woman.
Old dictionaries hold many treats. I once picked up a tiny leather number, no more than the size of a matchbook which apart from the usual bounty of words had a section in the back on how to address in Letters everyone from your basic merchant right up to the King or queen. And believe me, knowing how to compose my correspondence to a monarch has changed my life 😉
Another love of mine is the deft hand of a Wordsmith. Shakespeare, The Bronte`s, Fitzgerald, even modern authors like Colm Toibin all intrigue me with their handwriting. There is something about seeing the writer`s written hand, the curve of the script, the revisions and evidence of short temper or dissatisfaction. It is like peering into the authors mind, and seeing what his thoughts were as he recorded them.
To lasting joy, many ancient and classic writers have been preserved in their own hand. The British Library is a tremendous place to view many such examples if your fancy runs to it. Dickens, Austen, Woolf, Dylan Thomas, McCartney and even Shakespeare are all available to gawk at.
In my experience, anything that encourages people to read is a good thing, whether that be classical literature or a graphic novel. So my advice is to find an element of writing that you love, be it the words, the education, the entertainment or even the sheer joy of holding a book in your hands and inhaling the scent of ink and paper.
Take that joy and make it your own.
Enjoy the read.