My Triumphant Return to Literacy


As I grow older it seems that my vocabulary and mastery of the English language grows younger. I increasingly find myself unable to speak intelligently or searching for words. Maybe this is due to too little reading and too much mindless television. Nonetheless, I came up with an idea to help me return to literacy.

The other day when I was walking past the library and listening to my iPod too loudly, I reminisced back to my college days as an English major and immediately remembered the OED. It was the gold standard of dictionaries for all references in college. Merriam Webster was just not up to snuff. Yet somehow I don’t own an OED…possibly because it is huge, possibly because the web has taken over the literary universe. So the idea for this blog was born. Today I am venturing out to the Barnes and Noble to purchase an OED of my own (OED stands for Oxford English Dictionary) and each day flip randomly with my eyes closed through the pages to pick out a word for the day. I have discovered that you cannot access the OED online without paying $30 a month for  and you can’t randomly find a word either. Buying the book is cheaper and I want my son to someday know what the original OED looked like.

Now here’s the big idea. Instead of just taking note of the word and memorizing it uselessly, or simply writing it down, I am going to force myself to use the word in a creative way on this blog. The idea is to create a short work of fiction with the word or perhaps even find a photo or video illustrating the word to help burn it into my memory. I am going to attempt to do this everyday for as long as I can…until I am less illiterate. Hence, OED a Day. Technically, it should be Word a Day or OED Word a Day. OED a day just had more pizzazz.

I don’t really care who reads the blog…it’s really for my own edification. However, if you want to read my posts and learn a word a day, by all means, join me. Even write your own examples or pieces that you come up with. Stay tuned for my first word!

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4 thoughts on “My Triumphant Return to Literacy

  1. Chris Fiocco says:

    I hope you don’t me following your progress. Love this idea.

  2. Anna says:

    Great idea and great work!

  3. Laurel says:

    I also used to do a word game with a friend. I pick a word and give three meanings and let the recipient pick the right one. That way, I and the friend learned a word. This was done
    with email……. and the game alternated between players.

    LIke: parturient

    Does it mean: a) a partial or derivative function of an organism.
    b) the quality of state of being particular as opposed to universal.
    c) bringing forth or about to bring forth young.

    You also end up learning some wrong definitions!

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