“She had always wanted words, she loved them; grew up on them. Words gave her clarity, brought reason, shape.” Michael Ondaatje 1943 – from The English Patient.
I am sure by now, you know that I am a logophile – a lover of words. From a very young age, I have been fascinated by words. I just love words. I like the sound of them, I like to see them written down, I like to see them used by others in different ways, and I just like playing with them.
Today, as the Rain Drips, from somewhere in the back of this elderly brain, came the word Onomatopoeia. I am sure you know what it means but my dictionary defines it as – “The formation of words whose sound is imitative of the sound of the noise or action designated, such as hiss.” My late husband’s favourite was “The water lapped at the lake”
So after playing around for a time I came up with this –
One of the bloggers that I follow is Cindy at Cindy Ricksgers . She lives on Beaver Island, a small island in Michigan. I love reading her posts. Her life is totally different to mine. Currently, Cindy is diligently following the April A-Z Chllenge. Today her word was Q.
Cindy chose Quarantine, a word that we are all familiar wih since the eruption of Covid into our lives. Up until now, I have been aware of quarantine only twice in this long life. Once as a very small child I had Scarlet Fever and was quarantined in the Fever Hospital for I don’t know how long. No memories of the disease or the time spent in the hospital. The second occasion was when we left Scotland to live in New Zealand. Rebel, our cocker spaniel, was part of our family – we had him before David – and so he came too.
At the time there was no facility for dog, or any animal, quarantine, so he had to make the journey on a ship. Six weeks being pampered by the ship’s cook and he arrived very overweight and had to be put on a diet.
After reading Cindy’s post I wondered what my word would be for Q. Immediately my mind came up with Querulous. It’s not a word I use often. In fact, I can’t recall ever using it.
I have said in the past that I like the sound of words. I like how they look when written down – how different written with pen or pencil to how they look on the MacBook screen. So Querulous. It is defined in the OED as “habitually whining, fretful”. Does this bring anybody in particular to mind? Apart from that whining, demanding kid in the supermarket? I have an acquaintance for whom nothing is ever quite right. If we go for lunch something is always wrong. If we meet for any reason, there is always something bothering her. So many negatives in her life.
“Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?” Marcus Aurelius,Meditations
So now I ask you – what word would you choose for Q?
It’s another beautiful day here in far off New Zealand. The sun is shining, the wind has taken a holiday and the garden calls. Off now to re-pot those plants that have been glaring at me from the pots in which they arrived from the garden centre a few days ago..
“If you have a garden and a library, everything will be complete” Marcus Tullius Cicero,Letter to Varro, 1st century AD
“Be careful of the words you say, Keep them short and sweet. You never know, from day to day, Which ones you’ll have to eat.” Anonymous
Following my last foray into the blogosphere and the subject of words, I looked back on the many other posts I have written on this subject. One in particular caught my eye and so I would like to reblog it here.
But before you go over to read the full post, may I ask you “Are you a cruciverbalist?” I am. I always thought this was a designer of crossword puzzles but now I understand ( after looking it up on Google) that it can also apply to an enthusiast of word games and of crossword puzzles.
Well, obviously, I am an enthusiast. I do the NY Times Wordle every day and was most upset once when it took me to number 6 before I got the answer. And I just love whoever is behind this game now – “Phew!” appeared when I managed the correct answer.
I then found another app that allows me to play the game for as long as I choose. Not limited to only one game a day. I’m becoming addicted.
Of course I continue to play Upwords with my housebound friend each week. And last week I was introduced to Quiddler. That one certainly tests the brain.
Choose your words carefully. For though words are free, it’s how you use them that may cost you.” Judith Baxter
I have always loved words. I like the sound of the spoken word, I like the sight of the written word, and I like to see how words look when written by different hands.
I have written often about words on my other site Growing Younger Each Day. Now today I would like to have some fun with words.
Do you know kangaroos? No, not the marsupials, but the term Kangaroo words.
A kangaroo word carries within its spelling (in normal order) a small word that is a perfect synonym for itself. The etymology of the phrase kangaroo word is derived from the fact that kangaroos carry their young (known as joeys) in a body pouch; hence kangaroo words carry their joey words within themselves.
An example of this is Blossoms – note that it contains in the right order, the synonym Blooms. Or Respite and Rest.
And now for those of us in New Zealand and Australia and the rest of the Southern Hemisphere, it’s Thursday evening. The weekend is drawing close with its time to rest and relax for those of you who are still living the busy years. And for the rest of you, it is coming, maybe not as rapidly, but it is coming!
“What day is it?” asked Pooh. “It’s today,” squeaked Piglet. “My favorite day,” said Pooh.”