The creation of our blog and consequent participation in the daily post prompt has led to the revelation of some words previously unknown to me – outlier, symbiosis and murmuration. I like to think I have a fairly extensive vocabulary, but in reality there is an inordinate number of words that I have never encountered. If you have ever played Balderdash or Fictionary, word games in which players guess the definition of an obscure word after each having written their own crafty and credible definition, you will know just how many weird and wonderful words there are in the dictionary!
“Words are our most inexhaustible source of magic.” J.K. Rowling
Here is an example from Balderdash;
Word is Shittle (SHIT-ull).
1. “Finger and toe” disease of turnips.
2. the East Indian cedar tree known as ” wood of the gods”.
3. Term used in basket weaving, to cut away a piece of cane so it comes to a long slanting point.
4. Homespun cloth made of poor wool, in rural Britain.
5. Unstable and inconstant. Which do you think is the correct answer?
Reading leads to a world of revelations and is a source of inspiration, just like people we meet in real life. We can learn from fictional characters and be influenced by their words and actions; likewise with places, events and facts that we read. It is a way of escaping your life without having to buy a ticket to the other side of the world. I credit much of my boys’ critical and analytical thinking from their love of reading, which came about at a very young age. When you read, you learn and memorise many details that are stored away in your mind. Often I have known something without knowing how, and then realised that I have read it in a book. My advice to any new Mums out there, is read to your kids every day, a world with books is one of the greatest gifts that you can give them.
There is a book of revelations in every one’s life, and we never stop learning until the day we die. The past week I have had many revelations of which I will share just a few. I had the great revelation that when you wake at 6 in the morning and close your eyes for 5 minutes, it’s suddenly 6.45.; when it’s 3pm at work and you close your eyes for 5 minutes, it’s 3.01!
Revelation number 2 was wearing a scarf and woollen mittens whilst walking the dog in this chilly weather makes it far more enjoyable. I had several revelations when it came to my exercise bike; although I have been riding 10km ( about 6 miles) each day for the past two weeks, to my horror the number on the scales hasn’t budged.
I was incredibly disappointed but then realised I felt far fitter which is in reality, more important. Secondly, on the occasions when I did 20k, my knee ( on which I recently had surgery) began to hurt, telling me I was overdoing it. Revelation dawns, Rome wasn’t built in a day and I must take it slowly. The last revelation which I will share with you is by far the most humorous. I was booking an appointment for an elderly patient to see the Optometrist where I work, and asked if she was sure she wanted to wait that long and come in June, and not this month. She gently replied, “It’s June now, dear,” and I suddenly realised it wasn’t May like I thought. Perhaps the Mumma Bear in me had hibernated, and I had slept through the month of May!
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”
George RR Martin
PS: the definition for shittle is unstable and inconstant. I’d love to know if you got it correct!