When a friend of mine was little or ill or stuck on an island with his grandparents – I forget which – he read the Oxford Dictionary. From A – Z. He didn’t remember it all, but he remembered some of it, and he always said that he really enjoyed it.
On Sunday – my husband, in search of a word to fit the crossword carefully combed the columns searching for a particular word with the right spacing of As and Es.
He could have searched it on Google, but the sun was shining, he had a pair of specs and he was happy to while away 20 minutes perusing the onion skin pages of my dad’s ancient dictionary.
Afterwards, he told me a string of words I didn’t know, even using some of them in conversation. Do you know what to Keckle is? Or a Liripoop? This word press program certainly doesn’t.
It occurred to us that there is great pointless glee in doing this, and that to truly fulfill such undirected curious joy you have to have the real book. The internet is so big it isn’t in alphabetical order, you can’t just look up all the words beginning with K, you’d explode, and anyway, there are probably loads of replacement window companies and takeaways in West London who’d come top of the list.
So make sure, that every once in a while, you have a dictionary moment. Roam through it, pick up a stray word and start using it.
I might just go and iron my liripoops and keckle something to a post before the wind picks up.