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