Save the Words

The Oxford English Dictionary has created a rather delightful new site in an effort to get people to expand their vocabulary and keep more obscure words alive in the language.

Regard the following post, therefore, as something of a public service.

I actually have a traboccant love for language, although I realize that these days it is hardly plebicolar. I’d like to adimpleate this post with wonderful words to help prevent the English language from viliorating. My blog readers are not foppotees, and I would love to pepper the blaterations of Twitter with words like this, but I think if I were to try to use some of them in class, my students might start to consider magistricide.

Note to the designers of that site: the little voices can become incredibly annoying (make the turn-off option more visible), and it would be nice to have a stable URL for the individual words and definitions.

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On Sea Creatures and Sad Middle Age

Apparently there’s a story going around about Dick Van Dyke (yes, THAT Dick Van Dyke, and yes, I too was surprised to hear he’s still alive). He fell asleep on his surf board, drifted out to sea, and then was rescued by a pod of porpoises. Susan Orlean writes about it in her blog. Personally, I think he’s been reading too many Greek myths, and perhaps drinking too many margueritas… The Guardian writes “The porpoises were unavailable for comment.” Hee.

And on the opposite scale, here’s a guy who definitely needs a bigger boat. Yikes.

And in totally other news, much as I love Mike Leigh, I don’t think I’m going to be going to see his latest film. Can I just say that, as a happy, single-by-(mostly)-choice middle aged woman I am so effing sick of middle-aged spinsters being portrayed as needy, neurotic and desperate? I would have expected better.

Three Links Make a Post

I’m late with my November 10th blogpost, so I’ll make this quick:

The Ten Commandments of Fiction Writing
From The Onion, Nation Shudders at Large Block of Uninterrupted Text
And an awesome set of Romantic poets as Action Heroes

Links for a Tuesday

Some of my favourite links from this morning’s Twitter feed:

Although I don’t follow this so much now, it was my favourite strip when I was at Uni
Doonesbury turns 40 today

Lit folks are hip Lol Harold Bloom

Heh. I’d love to do this: Teachers can use the internet!

If you don’t follow Margaret Atwood on Twitter, you should:
She draws comics for her fans!

And finally Explaining the internet to Oliver Twist

Some Links for a Saturday

The Art House Fiction Project looks fun and interesting. Sign up, and they’ll send you a Moleskine notebook and a theme. You fill the notebook with story and some art, and it’ll be housed in the Brooklyn Art library.

For those who write book reviews, or want to: The top 20 most annoying book reviewer phrases

For students: Top 50 Bloggers to Help You Study and Focus Better

And this one is pretty much self-explanatory: Google China vs Google UK

Literate People Should Boycott Books

At least, according to this post that cites a Newser article by Michael Wolff arguing against what he calls the “vanity publishing” of books by the likes of Sarah Palin. He writes that such ghost written items devoid of real content are not “real” books and in fact are a con job by publishers.

Provocative ideas! What do you think?

Something to Celebrate

A new poem by Seamus Heaney, published in the Times.