Call me crazy.
Call me a nerd.
Call me what you will, but I miss vocabulary words.
Yes. I miss those weekly lists we got in school. I miss having to memorize “big words.” I even miss the homework that came along with the words because that homework would ensure the new words’ definitions were memorized correctly.
I think having a love for words and being a bibliophile go hand in hand. After all, how could I read without words? Without words a huge hobby of mine would be destroyed. New words excite me. The feel of foreign sounds rolling off my tongue to form an unfamiliar word… and then learning the meaning and having the ability to use them with my regular speech.
Eighth grade was the last year we had vocabulary words in my district’s curriculum— the last year for English anyway. We still had to learn terms in math and science, but it wasn’t the same as using plethora in a sentence or creating a matching quiz with words like interminable or incognito. All these words now common in my language were once foreign to me. And I miss that.
In high school, my friend bought me one of those page a day calendars for my birthday. Beginning, appropriately with ab ovo and containing tidbits of knowledge such as the meaning of fiduciary, it was a fun little thing full of SAT-esque words. It was wonderful to reveal a new word every single day.
I came across a new word while reading the other day. The excitement was real. In fact, it’s in my latest posted poem. I was thrilled to have to Google it and I said it enough and used it enough that it’s in my vocabulary. (You know they say if you use a new word three times, it will be added to your permanent vocabulary.)
Words are beautiful. Words can create. Words can invent. Words carry more than meaning; they carry emotion. It’s absolutely fantastic to learn new words. And fittingly, as I discovered earlier today, there is a word to describe someone who loves words…and thus I self-proclaim myself to be a logophile.