Thursday, April 22, 2010

Save the Words

I was immediately attracted by Save the Words website—lots of color and typographic variety and a humorous audio track. If you are a lover of words, you will be too. Each year hundreds of words are dropped from the English language, I learned, leaving us with only 7,000 words for 90% of everything we write. The mission of the website creators is to save those words that have fallen by the wayside.

Clicking on a word brings up a definition of the word and an adopt this word option. Alas, my one criticism of the site is that there is no pronunciation guide. I hope one will be added in the future, audible preferred. By adopting a word and promoting it in one of the myriad, often humorous ways suggested, such as in a meeting (instead of encouraging attendees to think laterally, how about think outside the nidifice), as a pet name (Ictuate, go fetch!), as a tattoo or graffiti (!), or in your next game of Scrabble (creating endless arguments and debates using words such as pudify or stagma), you can keep these words alive and in the English language. If you are a real logophile, you can sign up and have a new word emailed to you every day.

There are other sites with collections of obscure words. One I found interesting but have not explored in depth is International House of Logorrhea, an online dictionary of weird and unusual words. Check out their Compendium of Lost Words.