Wednesday, March 22, 2017

In a Word . . .

Hoovering and Snarfing

“I had spent years hoovering up words as quickly and indiscriminately as I could, the linguistic equivalent of a dog snarfing up spilled popcorn; . . . I was a woman obsessed: I traced words across the rough sword and buckler of Old English, over the sibilant seesaw of Middle English, through the bawdy wink-wink-nudge-nudge of Shakespeare . . . I hadn’t just fallen down this rabbit hole: I saw that hole in the distance and ran full tilt at it, throwing myself headlong into it. The more I learned, the more I fell in love with this wild, vibrant whore of a language.” 

—Kory Stamper, lexicographer and writer, “Falling in Love with Words: The Secret Life of a Lexicographer,”, March 2017

Don't call me a journalist; I hate the word. It's pretentious!
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Don't call me a journalist; I hate the word. It's pretentious!
Read more at:
Editorial Comment: Just saying “lexicographer” sounds nerdy. But, Gawd, there are a lot of fine words just in that one paragraph.

PeezPix by Ted Pease

Dumpie’s Fan Club

Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 2,000,000 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) #tedsword
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. 
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“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

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