Friday, August 20, 2010

The Bigger The Better!

by carol
Hi.  My name is carol.  And I'm a logophile.

Now before anyone swoons in horror at this self-revelation, logophile comes from two Greek roots--logos, meaning "speech, word, reason" and philos, meaning "dear, friendly."  At some point in my distant youth, I fell in love with words and I remain enamored of them to this day. 
It began simply enough.  See Dick. See Jane.  See Spot.  See Dick, Jane, and Spot.
More and more words became part of my vocabulary and I was proud to use words like pertinacious, antidisestablish- mentarianism and xenophobic.  I couldn’t use them every day, mind you, but I was ready when the conversational opportunity presented itself.
Words provide the opportunity for people to communicate.  They give structure to the abstract.  They provide meaning and clarity. 
As the range of my reading expanded geographically, I became enchanted with the great variety of ways a single word could differ in meaning, use, spelling, pronunciation and grammar.  I also came to believe that the nation which leads the world in its creativity and sheer joy in using words is Australia.  Which is probably why I am a now a “fan” of the Macquarie Dictionary. 
I found the Macquarie Dictionary when I had to look up words used by Australian actor Alex O’Loughlin in his interviews.  And what did I discover?  A dictionary of Australian and New Zealand English that not only has its own website but is on Twitter, Facebook, and even has an iPhone application. 
This is a logophile’s dream and I am happy to be part of it. No longer can “reading a dictionary” be denigrated as an egghead’s pastime.  It can be an exciting way to stay current with a world that moves faster and faster around us.
Trends in lifestyle and pop culture contributed new inclusions like "sexting", "skinny jeans" and "shwopping" to the 5,000 additional words in the Macquarie 2009 edition. Who doesn’t want to know that "BESTIES" are your best mates and "manscaping" has been replaced by the "boyzilian wax."
Find out what people are talking about…read a dictionary!

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