To the Editor:
Have you ever thought of giving a friend a new calendar? It is the perfect reminder throughout a year of your thoughtfulness.
Being a lexophile as I am, I love the one with 365 new words a year. Were I to learn and use most of them, however, people would think I was speaking gibberish, including myself. Many or most of them are beyond my intellect. But it’s fun learning them.
It’s tempting sometimes to show off what big words you know, but one of the first rules we were taught in writing was to write in a simple, straight-forward manner. What good would it do to send the reader scrambling for a dictionary in order to learn what we are trying to say?
Peeking ahead to my birthday, I find gerrymander means to divide an area into political units that give one group an unfair advantage. Nope. Not one I’d use.
How about haggard? Someone else may use it to describe me at my age.
Do you know what a tittle is? Neither did I. We have all used that, but did not realize it. It’s the dot over a lowercase “i” or “j.”
I also found twitter, which means to chirp continuously. You probably can think of someone when you see this word.
I found this word pleasing: canorous. It means pleasant-sounding, melodious.
As I approached the end of 2018, it made me think “What if we knew we each had a finite number of words that were a gift to us when we were born?” Once used, we’d have to shut up.
Would we choose our words more carefully so as not to use up any of them foolishly in idle or superficial chatter? To criticize someone? Cursing situations over which we have no control?
Since we are allowed only 400 words in these pieces, I am going to be brief this time and save some for future use. After all, 2019 is only beginning.
So many words. So little space.
Happy New Year.