Words, Words, Words

I’ve just returned from an extended holiday in the UK.  It was first vacation I’ve had in probably 8 years that wasn’t work related, even though there was a smidge of work done on the trip.  This time I went further than just the city of London, which is one of my favorite cities on earth.  Even though I was a French major in college and have a fondness for Paris, I absolutely adore and am in serious crush with England.  And it returned the affection.  The weather was fabby, the people wonderful and the sites everything I’d want them to be.

I’d hoped to do more inhaling of the accent than I was able to but circumstances prevented that.  What I did do was listen to all the talking going on around me, which was so easy to do on the tube.  And for a word junkie like me, it was quite the treat.  I’d read somewhere that Americans use about 2000 words but the Brits use approximately 5000 words.  Very soon I was suffering from word envy.  And it was a serious case of the green eyed monster.  They use the language so richly that I was embarrassed to open my mouth sometimes.  Not really but you get my drift.  When you are in the presence of someone who has more skill than you do at something, a shyness comes about when you realize that you don’t measure up to their expertise and you’d be a fool to even try.

Instead of letting this stop me, I’m resolving to try to increase my master of language and all the wonderful words we have available to use.  After all, I just visited the home of where so many words were created hundreds of years ago.  I wouldn’t be doing my travels justice if I didn’t at least try.  So fair warning dear reader, you may need a dictionary nearby in the future.

Use Your Words

My Sister in Law sent me the nicest note of encouragement recently regarding my writing and posting.  She said she looked forward to reading them every day and she thought my Dad would be proud of how I was using my words.  Her phrasing made me smile instantly.  It was such the thing for a Mom of 4 to say and I could hear her saying it to one of her kids whilst they stumbled for the words that weren’t coming as fast as their developing little minds were wanting them to.

But the phrase “use your words” got me thinking.  I’ve always been a geek when it comes to language, at least in my adult life.  Scholastically not so much, in fact I even misspelled surgeon in a spelling test, not so good for the daughter of such a man.  But as an adult, with a voracious appetite for reading, some of that language sunk in.  To the point I became something of a collector of words.  Using them in a sentence correctly alway gave me a bit of a thrill.  I am the kind of person that actually uses the word harridan, proclivity and as evidenced by the previous sentence, voracious.  Not in an intellectually snobby way at all.  Finding new words was a treasure to be unearthed with glee.  The English language is endowed with wonderful words that seldom get taken out and dusted off.  Crossword puzzles were a great source of new material.  It became something wonderful to share with my Dad, the English major turned surgeon, and when he consulted me on a french word or phrase that he was unfamiliar with, a great source of pride.

I think these postings are a way to continue the conversation with my Dad, something I am no longer able to do.  I am able to craft a story and a message I think he would be happy to read as my SIL (our acronym for sister-in-law) pointed out.  I continue my hunt everyday for new words and thoughts and take an immense amount of pleasure in each post.  S-U-R-G-E-O-N.  Never forget that one!

Use your words.