for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday and nurturing our writing lives.
Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice"
Do you ever stumble across a word that you've read often in print, but don't have the slightest idea how to pronounce? That's a perfect example of when my friend M-W (Merriam Webster) comes to the rescue. It happened last Friday. I was reading "The Californian's Tale" by Mark Twain to a group of 8th graders when the word, dauguerotype, appeared before my eyes. (The story was new to me and a delight to share with the students. We started class with Dorianne Laux's poem "On the Back Porch," read "The Californian's Tale," and ended with Jane Yolen's picture book, The Stranded Whale
.) (I adore being subversive and sneaking in poems and picture books into other teacher's lesson plans.) (I couldn't remember the title of Yolen's book, so I googled stranded at sea because I knew it had stranded in the title. Oops! Way too many hits, so I revised the search to "stranded at sea jane yolen.") (Did you know that auto correct switches Yolen to Yolk?) (Sure enough, google provided me with the exact title of the book. I also discovered something else, but I digress!) Back to dauguerotype - we googled the word and listened as my friend M-W gave us a perfect pronunciation. (I worry that we're raising a generation who do not know how to interpret the phonetic symbols to properly pronounce a word, but who am I kidding? The only people who really care about those symbols are word nerds like me.)
Do you ever stumble across a word that just doesn't fit its meaning? That happened to me yesterday when my friend M-W introduced me to a new-to-me word, pulchritude. I couldn't believe the meaning of this word. Physical comeliness??? The word doesn't sound beautiful. And it doesn't look beautiful. When I look at this word, I think of putrid and puke and belch. Try fitting pulchritude into your next conversation about a beautiful person!
Do you ever stumble across a word that you love? Serendipity is one of my favorites and skedaddle, and yesterday while reading Lizzie and the Lost Baby
, higgledy-piggledy popped onto the page. That's a perfect word if I ever heard one. It makes me smile and giggle just looking at it. And all those fun consonants just make for a word that sounds higgledy-piggledy!
Does the countdown to March strike fear into your heart? This will be my fifth year, and I have no idea how I'll be able to write a slice of life every day. But today's word wanderings provided several possibilities for future slices:
- The students' response to my comment that we had read a poem, a picture book and a short story - all in one period!
- Wandering side roads and by roads with my friend M-W
- The biography in my book bag of Noah Webster
- A favorite high school graduation gift - my dictionary
- Why I still like to look up words in the dictionary
- From card catalogs to google searches - serendipity along the road to distraction
Do you wonder how on earth you'll be able to write for 31 days? It happens, my friend, one day at a time. Three pieces of advice: Write down your random ideas, get inspired by fellow slicers, and enjoy the journey! FYI - 13 days until March!