I declare myself a word nerd. Being a Generation X’er I spent all my school years flanked by a full arsenal of monolingual, bilingual, technical and foreign language Dictionaries, Lexicons, Grammar helpers and Thesauruses.
Ahhh! the phonetic and auditory rush derived from a satisfying mouthful of words. Decisive dental notes (deleterious, terminate, tranquillity), sibilant whispers (slither, mischance, shrill). And what about the satisfaction derived from pronouncing words like: pernicious, injurious, inimical, devastation, enthralled, mitigating, felicity, perfunctory and unctuous. I mean really!
And, of course, as any word and book nerd will attest, what about the unbeatable scent of type on paper. Whenever I crack open one of my dictionaries, the memories of pulling all nighters with Gemma, as we prepared for final exams, come flooding back.
I remember quiet afternoons spent mulling over which would be the best suited for my writing (le mot juste) from a choice of abstruse, arcane or esoteric. And of course, the delight in rereading a piece and finally feeling it yours and complete once all the appropriate words were in place.
So THANK YOU!!! to the pioneers of the written word. Pioneers such as English schoolteacher, Robert Cawdrey, who in 1604 wrote the first English alphabetical dictionary entitled A Table Alphabeticall.
Thank you Peter Mark Roget for producing the first modern English thesaurus in 1852.
And to all those inquisitive, tireless and exacting compilers, translators and lovers of the written word…Grazie, Merci, Danke sehr, Khop Khun Mak Kha, Gracias, do jeh, daw-dyeh, Arigato, Spasiba, Mahalo, Efharisto, Toda, Dankie, tack!