It’s the start of a new year and we are awash with adverts and articles tempting you to jet off to foreign shores, encouraging you get out and find the new you…but not before you sign over your life savings for a subscription to the local gym which you’ll avoid like the Plague after the first week!
As we’re on day three of January, I’m a little late with jumping on this self-improvement bandwagon, but I’m jumping nonetheless. Now, I’m perfectly aware I have a bit of a reputation – consistency is not my strong point and in the past, the only success I’ve had with my resolutions has been the ability to pronounce the word with my short-tongue!
So I don’t make them. As such…
Do you remember my Bucket List post of 2016? Well, two years on from my ‘oh-my-I-get-old-this-year‘ wish list and I can say I have ticked two items off the list: visiting Iceland and publishing a book.
I’m a huge fan of words. I mean, where would we be without them? We’d be endlessly stuck in a world requiring us to jab and flap to get our point across, like some frustrated toddler tourist! I will happily use fifteen words when one would suffice: I say it’s exercising my vocabulary, others would say I’m waffling! But as the English language is so diverse and interesting, it seems rude not to acquaint yourself with as large a fraction of it as possible.
I’ve always enjoyed learning new words, finding their origins fascinating. Yet, two of my favourites are perpendicular and izquierda (Spanish for left, as in opposite of right). Neither of them have outstanding meanings, I just enjoy how they roll off the tongue! However, being short-tongued often causes me problems, especially with the word thistle (because that’s a word we use every day isn’t it?!) and until I was five, I couldn’t pronounce the letter F (I guess I’d become fed up of being ‘OR’ years old!)
Working in education has expanded my vocabulary immensely. When you have to think on your feet and come up with a list of synonyms for ‘nice’ to illustrate that there was a valid reason for banning its use by your class, having a well stocked brain dictionary is essential! Words are powerful, opening many a door to the user although more frequently these days, they are used negatively. Despite what the old adage teaches us about stick and stones, words can hurt us. However, they can also heal and inspire us and this is why I love them. Whether they break or mend, bring joy or offend, I believe a solid understanding of a language and its words is one of the greatest skills to teach or learn.