Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I Admit It - I'm a Word Geek

I love words. I love finding out the story behind them. When I was little I puzzled out the word "remember". You see, when you know something, it is a member of the stuff in your head. When you forget it, it's not. Then, when it is a member again, you "remember" it. Pretty clever, huh.

I actually have no idea how the word remember came about, but that explanation worked for me when I was in elementary school.

In high school I wrote a paper on Orthography: The study of spelling. Yeah, total word geek.

In college I took a course on linguistics. The course didn't live up to my expectations - but then I had pretty high expectations. I was probably the only one there excited about the topic - the professor didn't seem to be.

But that didn't lessen my joy in words.

I love knowing that people used to say housen and eyen. Now very few words use "en" to denote plural. Two that do are children and oxen.

I love that the word maroon, meaning the color and the word maroon meaning to abandon someone came from the same root word, took wildly different paths and ended up in the language with two very different meanings for the same word.

So, it's not surprising, given my love of words, that I love to write. I get to take those words, some of which have fascinating histories, and use them in works of my own imagining. In my own way, I'm adding to the history of the words.

And I love it.

Yeah, I know. I'm a word geek. I admit it.


  1. I love seeing the patterns, the root words, and pondering where certain words come from. All my favorite games are words games--Scrabble, Boggle, Balderdash--and of course I love word puzzles and riddles.

    You're not alone in your geekiness :).

  2. I love the sound and feel of the Spanish language. Almost minored in Spanish at BYU. Love to hear the rhymn of different languages. One of my favorite things while attending BYU was going and seeing foreign films.

    I also have fun playing with the English language. I love to make up words too. Ixtumea is one such word I made up with the help of my former critique group. Originally it was Idumea which is a country mentioned in the Bible. 'We' added the 'x' to give it more of a distinct feel.

  3. Is there a Word Geek Club? If so, sign me up.

  4. We need a Word Geek Club! What a great idea!
    And Kim, I love the story of how you came up with Ixtumea!

  5. OMG - I am *totally* a word geek too! I love words - I remember when I was in third grade laying in my bed, puzzling over a science book when I realized how to pronounce a word - I flew out of bed to tell the rest of the house who were understandably less than impressed. This is a great post.

  6. One of my favorite research books for fantasy is my etymology book and also my seven language dictionary. One can find so many fascinating things about words.