Saturday, July 19, 2014

I have lost my word book...

My word book isn't anything impressive to look at. It's just a cheap supermarket telephone/address index book. The cover has been falling apart for at least the past eight years. But, now that I've lost it, I feel slightly panicked that I'll never find it again and I'll always have these blind spots in my vocabulary because I won't remember what I don't know... 

I should probably start at the beginning. 

My mother was the first person I saw who used a word book. But she probably called it something smarter. Basically, whenever she read a book, she'd have a notebook with her. When she came across a word of phrase she didn't know, or one that interested her, she'd write it down and leave enough space to fill in a dictionary definition later. 

Eventually, I got my index book and did the same thing. 

I don't remember what was in there now. 

Obfusc was. Of course, I don't remember where I came across it, or what I liked so much about it to write it down. Probably during my I-can-learn-Latin phase! 

Odalisque was. And Janissary. I was reading a lot of books set in Turkey at the time. 

Tabby was. I liked something about the etymology of the word. Was it a sort of fabric named after a place, that people began to associate with the pattern on some cats? If I had my word book, I could tell you. 

source
But my word book didn't just have interesting words. It had necessary words. The ones I always stuff up. 

Amiable. 
Amenable. 
Amicable. 

My own personal triumvirate of evil. Because I always mix them up. And, even though there are three words, I only know two definitions. Amenable is agreeable, right? So one of the others means friendly. Or both of them do. I don't know. What's the difference between amiable and amicable? There is a difference -- I wrote it down. 

But then I lost the book. 

And now I'm secretly afraid it will come up somehow. 

"Well, which was he? Amiable, amenable or amicable? Hurry up and answer! This is IMPORTANT!" 

And I'll stand there with my mouth open, desperately searching for meaning. And only finding obfuscation. 






4 comments:

  1. Thanks to you losing your word book, I learned a few new words. Here's how I'll remember them.

    Amicable is between people, so picture a cable between two towns - they had a ami-cable relationship.

    Amiable is one person - "Am-I-able to be friendly? Sure!" said the amiable armadillo.

    And amenable means someone's willing to go along with something. The amen-able parson agreed to the terms and said "Amen!"

    Just don't ask me what affable means. : p

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  2. Argh! Don't bring affable into this! My brain might explode :)

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  3. Love your notebook! A long time ago I started a notebook that was something similar. I wrote down a word new to me in a work of fiction and found the definition, then copied the sentence it was in, and then tried to write a new sentence using it! Kinda ambitious, I know. And then we moved, and I never got back to that notebook again, but now your post makes me want to. Hope you find your word book or start a new one.

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    Replies
    1. They're the best things to have! I haven't tried writing sentences with the words I look up. That might be the mission with the new book. :)

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