Thursday, January 26, 2012

Word of the Week

I am always looking for new ideas to add to the variety of features on this blog. Last month one of you, dear readers, gave me the idea to do a project series. I gave the suggestion a few moments of my time before realizing I had no intentions of learning how to knit and blogging about it. I really didn’t think about it again until last week when Wikipedia went black for the day of the SOPA protest. The next day, when it came back to us, I spent some time looking up all sorts of things on the site. For what ever reason I ran across a list claiming to be the 100 Best English-language Novels of the Twentieth Century listing Ulysses by James Joyce as number one. I have heard of the book but needed to know more so I read down the Wiki page. I found this next piece of information amazing. The novel is around 265,000 words long and uses a lexicon of 30,030 words (including proper names, plurals and various verb tenses)! Think about that vocabulary for a moment. I don’t think I even know 30,030 different words; let alone how to work them all into a work of fiction. This information, along with the suggestion by a friend and my desire to improve my own writing has led me to:

The Word of the Week!

The rules here are pretty simple. The Wife will officiate, verifying that I follow the rules. She will choose a word every Wednesday that, starting Thursday, I must attempt to work into my every day vocabulary. She is allowed to get the words from anywhere (suggestions, Internet) but they must be verified using Merriam-Webster's online dictionary. The only other restriction on what word she may choose is that it must be reasonably work appropriate. Once the word is selected I will blog about it on Thursdays and then attempt to put it to use in my every day speech. I’ll also tweet about uses on a daily basis and compile a list of uses in the next weeks post. If on a given Thursday I have a normal blog post prepared, I’ll just attach the Word of the Week to the end of that post. If I’ve been lazy, the Word of the Week post will be the primary post for that Thursday.

There is one more wrinkle before we get started. Challenges! Because simply using the word around people I live and work with will get easier the longer this goes on (they’ll get used to me spouting out seemingly random words) The Wife will also choose a challenge for me to try and fulfill with the word. An Example would be to use the word when ordering from a fast food establishment. You can also participate in the Word of the Week and the Weekly Challenge and post your findings in the comments section below each post. I have zero say in what word is chosen, but The Wife may be open to suggestions, so hit her up to torture me. So without further delay:

The Word of the Week is: Spleenwort

Spleenwort : any of a large genus (Asplenium) of chiefly evergreen ferns having linear or oblong sori.
Origin of Spleenwort : from the belief in its power to cure disorders of the spleen. First known use: 1578

And the Challenge of the Week : Use the word while ordering at dinner on Friday night.

Great, thanks dear...

1 comment:

  1. This sounds fun. I have something that looks like spleenwort in my yard. I am not sure how I could fit that into ordering dinner! P.R.