Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

“Moue” that’s today’s Word-a-Day on one of the three sites I check almost every day. Retirement, or what’s become semi-so, has afforded me an opportunity to become even more attentive to single words than ever. People who know me would laugh at that. I’ve been teased by many for my working vocabulary, but it’s true.

Word of Day awesome!

This is on my desktop. Need I say more? My son once told me that he never calls on New Year’s Day because he knows I’ll be at Barnes and Noble buying the new Page-a-Day calendar. Nice excuse, but there’s some truth.

I’ve written about the annual spelling bee, so now the stakes are even higher. Man, I love a great word, the smaller the better. Those are the ones that pack a punch: din; massif; pelf; hoise. Sometimes I know the words on my list, but like acquaintances, not like friends; I recognize them, but I wouldn’t take them out for dinner. They’ve made the list though, so I’m committed to getting to know them better.

I used to tell my students as I held up the dictionary: “You know those,” and I’d wave my arms to include the shelves full of books surrounding us—books I’ve told them I’d gladly sacrifice one of them for to make room for new ones 😉— “they’re all in here.” And I’d wave the dictionary for emphasis. “All writers do is put what’s in here in the right order.” They’d groan, but they knew how I felt about our most powerful tools, no doubt!

I wasn’t at home when my sister packed up our childhood home. Years later when I finally became settled with a home of my own, I received a small package in the mail with her return address. Inside I found this:

dictionary childhood

with this note:

Mary's note

I opened it, transported back to my childhood with the turn of a page:

inside dictionary

(I’ve always struggled with when to double!)

Some things never change.

3 thoughts on “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”

  1. I get a word-a-day sent to my email. Like you, some of the words I am familiar with even though I don’t usually use them in conversation or writing. Others I wonder, is that really a word. It is a great way to expand one’s vocabulary.

  2. That is indeed a treasure! There are so many words and it’s hard for me to remember all the rules. Somehow I do manage to remember most. I used to have a word a day calendar, and I’m not sure why I stopped getting them.

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