I admit it, I am a logophile — a connoisseur of words, both written and spoken. From Fortune magazine to fortune cookies, I believe good writing is an art, a craft, a science, a philosophy, a religion, a mission and a passion.
While working at a bank during college, it occurred to me that almost every business problem I encountered related in one way or another to miscommunication. Muddy manuals, inadequate instructions and derisory documents confounded the workplace, so I decided to major in business communications.
But words aren't all business for me. I like to play with my words, and my favorite gift of all time was a single-volume edition of The Complete Oxford English Dictionary (that even came with it's own magnifying glass). As much as I treasure my OED, I am finding new online resources that allow me to wangle my words in all kinds of interesting ways.
At rhymezone.com, for example, in addition to definitions, you can look up rhymes and synonyms and homophones. I also love onelook.com, an online search engine of more than 900 dictionaries that provides hours of fun. I once heard a comedian say that "K" words are funny. At onelook.com, you can search *k*k*k* for words that contain at least three "K"s, with results that include kickback, knickknackery and skunkworks.
I love Scrabble®, too, although my brother and stepson beat me at it regularly. It turns out that it's not enough to have a first-class vocabulary, you have to be able to strategize, too. Big words are fine, but it's those pesky two- and three-letter Scrabblisms, properly placed on bonus squares, that will lead you to victory — words like zax and xi and qat (a "Q" word that doesn't require a "U"). For the record, my best ever Scrabble® word was "hosiery" on a triple word score.
My husband hates Scrabble® and other such word-related endeavors. He says English is his second language — he doesn't have a first. He doesn't get excited by finding a quirky synonym for alphabetical (abecedarian — pronounced A-B-C-darian). He does not fall on the floor laughing when I tell him about the sign over the aisle at the grocery store that reads: "Feminine Hygiene/ Incontinents." He doesn't even crack up over my mother's inadvertent puns: "Frankly, I think I'll have a hotdog."
I say play with your words. At freerice.com, you can play a word game, improve your vocabulary and help end world hunger, all for free. Click here to share your favorite word or email me at 2KoPeople@gmail.com.