Will You Save the Words?

14 Jun

We’ve heard it said that the key to mental longevity is to always keep your mind open to learning new things. One easy way is to adopt a few new words and use them in your daily conversations. This doesn’t have to mean dusting off your school thesaurus, presuming it passed the bookshelf cull over the years. There’s actually an interesting alternative as I recently discovered. So let me introduce you to Save the Words!

SaveTheWords is an initiative by Oxford Dictionary to save underused English words from extinction. Their sleek website allows you to browse a wall of rare words displayed in colourful fonts. The words will literally call out to be selected! Once you find a word that tickles your curiosity, you can check its meaning or read a sample sentence.

Every year hundreds of words are permanently erased from dictionaries, simply because they are used less frequently (or not at all). They are dropped to make space for newer words. The erosion of our collective vocabulary is not least due to chat-speak and a Twitter culture. Not many use those grand and amazing words anymore (yes, I beg to differ!). So this site allows you to adopt a word and pledge to use it to the best of your ability. How cool is that?

I encourage our readers to visit this site and have some fun. As well as broaden your knowledge and expand your vocabulary, you’ll also be saving a word or two ; )

My personal favourites:

  • Lubency (n) – willingness, pleasure
  • Resarciate (v) – to make amends
  • Blateration (n) – blabber, chatter

 

Online tools for word nerds:

  • Visual Merriam-Webster – a dictionary with a new point of view that catches the eye and enriches the mind.
  • Visuwords – a graphical dictionary and thesaurus, find meanings and associations with other words and concepts.

 

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2 Responses to “Will You Save the Words?”

  1. Mechelle Fogelsong June 16, 2010 at 2:42 am #

    Thanks for leaving a comment on my site, Atticus. Regarding the use of old words, I actually keep an old thesaurus on my bookshelf to help me locate outdated idioms like, “He really crossed the Rubicon”. It’s helpful when I’m writing historical fiction.

  2. Atticus June 16, 2010 at 3:32 am #

    That’s a smart idea. And I haven’t come across that idiom before but hey, I learnt something new today.
    Thanks for sharing : )

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