Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Dictionary Walking?

In college my roommates called me a "Walking Dictionary."  I have always loved language.  I actually used to read a dictionary just for the pleasure of learning new words. 

One of my roommates gave me a quote that they had found that said, "People who strive to be walking dictionaries need to remember that reference books are never taken out!"  lol  I love that quote.

Not long after I met my hubby he confessed in chagrin to me that as a child he read the dictionary routinely.  He ADORED words, and the origins of speech.  I was a freelance typist as well as a secretary in the Brigham Young University Theater Office.  Typing a screenplay that Nyle wrote, I fell in love with the man.  My reasoning was that anyone who could write with such joy, such passion, HAD to be a man with the gifts I was looking for in a husband.  I was ever so correct in that impression.

In High School I took a lot of remedial classes.  I am NOT proud to admit that I learned they were easier than regular classes and therefore signed up for them.  No ACCELERATED courses for me!
In my remedial English class my teacher asked me, "WHY are you in this remedial class?  You should be in my advanced class.  You are intelligent, and a gifted writer.  You need to challenge yourself."

Well I DIDN'T sign up for any ACT classes.  Yet she gave me the courage, and self-awareness that I needed to do more writing.  Through the years I still hear her voice encouraging me to do more, and try harder!

One of the lessons that I learned in her class that I still adore was a lesson about how Greek and Latin Roots were involved in the formation of our language.  It was ever so exciting to me to learn that "man" referred to hands.  In other words when we discussed MANUAL labor, we were referring to labor that you performed with the use of your hands.

Knowing even a few of these "roots" helps to unlock the mysteries of language meaning, even if you have no access to a dictionary.  Thank you Mrs. Beatty for those gifts that you introduced me too.

Hyperbole is a tool of language that I engage.  I don't see a nice blue sky, or a white cloud.  I see an azure sky, blue as the water of the Caribbean.  The clouds are puffy, fluffy, floating gently on a tender breeze.  Hyperbole is an exaggerated expression of words.  Nice is simply not nice enough for me.  These are my routine words for nice, wondrous, grand, great, exceptional, splendid, etc. etc. etc.

Today, look at the world around you and see if you can explain it to yourself with new ideas.  Instead of thinking the grass is green.  Maybe you can say, "Green began in the center of each blade of grass.  As spring progressed, and water nourished, the green moved outwards.  Green expanded until the contagion of the color filled the lawn."  Don't worry about grammar...don't worry about ridicule from others.  Just open your mind and your ideas.  Create newness in the world around you.

If you have access to a child, whether it be yours, a child you teach, a grandchild, or the neighbor's child, take them for a walk.  Listen to their expressions about the world.  Their curiosity about the world around them is precious.  It can uplift and enlarge our spirits and help us to remember the importance that this life bears.

For those who are blessed with more mathematical intelligence, there is a science that converts words to numbers.  My husband loved this class.  Quantificational Symbolic Logic was the name of the class.  He would come home and explain to me how to use these ideas to turn words into numbers.  That was, unfortunately for me, a road that I could NOT travel.  My brain simply refused to understand anything having to do with these ideas.

Isn't it marvelous to focus on the strengths of each and everyone of our brains?  There are strengths in all our minds.  The trick is to find those strengths and utilize them.

Well enough of words, and images.  It's time for me to rest my mental faculties, and use my physical ones for awhile.  Exercise, here I come! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment