Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Picking Up Words

Some people work well with numbers. I don't. That is why I am not at the business end of a bank counter, or behind the desk of a math teacher.

Words, however are a bird of a different color, at least to me. I collect them.  The image of me scanning and collecting alphabetical symbols resembles Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins as Bert the Chimney-Sweep/Street musician with instruments strapped to every appendage. They are as much a part of me as those instruments were to Bert. Have you seen the "hoarders reality show"? Sufficient metaphorical insertion.

Some people scavenge curbside garbage scheduled for pick-up and others scavenge ideas, concepts and their expression in the printed and spoken word. Actually, I'm guilty of both.

The other day, I was on the elliptical bike at the gym, and a catheter commercial came up. To most people, this would be either an annoyance, or a godsend. To me it was neither, but rather it was an opportunity to add  a word to my book that gave it a new dimension. Throw the word catheter into a conversation and you've definitely changed the dynamic. I then saw the word ingress on  the screen of a newscast. I'd heard of egress, but never ingress. In this instance they were describing a cyber-hacker gaining access into a computer program. What a lovely dark word. I must use this too, I thought, but perhaps in a different way. The possibilities of words and their combination seem endless. I guess I'm a word junkie.

The sounds and images that words emit give depth to our everyday lives. Why settle for the same few hundred words (as research suggests we have defaulted to) when language offers so much more? 

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