Tuesday, October 5, 2010

word girl!

Sure, that looks like Green Girl and Mr. G, the adopted monkey-boy, but it's really Word Girl and Captain Huggy Face from PBS Kids. It could be me, though. I love words. I get a charge out of reading unusual words. I enjoy listening to people talk. I take pleasure in arranging and rearranging words on a page. Words are power, they're the primary way to get our thoughts across, they command and question and explain. Some of the best words carry multiple meanings--like run and light and dream. Some words leave an unmistakable taste in your mouth--greasy, dread, gaunt, lope. Words can be wonderfully precise ("Drive 2.7 miles north past the Cty. E intersection, we're the first blacktopped driveway on your left.") or vague ("God bless him for that. That's really something!") Words manipulate, inspire and ultimately make us feel less alone. One of the biggest thrills of motherhood is watching my sons learn how to read. It even trumps potty training on the List of Major Accomplishments and Milestones. Listening to them read and reading with them, parsing out unfamiliar words and discussing definitions delights me every time. (I adore alliteration the way some people revere rhyming.)

As a child I was a voracious reader. I'd read the ingredients off the back of a shampoo bottle in the tub. I'd read the back of a cereal box at the table. I'd read, read, read, read. If I forgot a book on a trip to Grandma's, I'd read her old copies of Good Housekeeping and Ladies' Home Journal just for something to do. And as a grown-up, I still read whatever's on hand--I've even pulled out the owner's manual to the Momvan on occasion, while waiting for my kids to finish soccer practice or karate class.

When we built our house, I even chose the old-fashioned style faucets that read "Hot" and "Cold" on the handles. I wanted words in every room of my house. We have piles of books in every room, and my favorite art has words written across or on it. I even wear a repurposed Scrabble tile on a necklace--because it has a LETTER on it!

Kathy makes letters, letters to make words. If I were to draw my name (which I can't because I'm not going to enter my own contest--how selfish would that be?), I'd totally choose this from her Four Dog Day Etsy shop:


Or this:

Are you overwhelmed by the choices yet? Kathy's a whiz--she makes all kinds of marvelous things, useful, lovely, quaint. I'm picking one lucky winner tomorrow--every comment in the comment box is an entry to win the item of your choice from Kathy's Four Dog Day shop.

Spill it, reader. Are you a word girl (or guy)?

23 comments:

  1. TOTAL word girl. Minor-league spelling champ as a kid, huge reader, and love trotting out bizarre words. These are darling!

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  2. TOTALLY a word girl. I too use to read the shampoo bottles and cereal boxes (okay, and I sometimes still do!). Reading is in my blood! :)

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  3. Oops and the above comment is from me of course. I was working on blog designs this morning and apparently was signed into my other account. Maybe I should read the coffee container as I wait to make another pot! :)

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  4. I would say I am a word gal...there is one word I hate to use and I hate to hear...the word it moist. HATE IT

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  5. Escribo palabras en la calle. Shhh.
    * ; )
    I see a promising parallel existence for you as a grafitti artist, Greenie...the art of writing words in a beautiful way...just...in public! WORDS!! I love em too!! ALL languages!! All meanings! All spellings!!

    "...words dissemble, words be quick. Words resemble walking sticks. Plant them. They will grow. So I'll always be a WORD man...better than a bird, man."
    ~ James Douglas Morrison

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  6. I've seen the Scrabble necklace and I love those things!

    Big-time word girl, how they're spelled, how they sound, how some of them even look like what they mean!

    Pearl

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  7. Absolutely a word girl! And, like you, a voracious reader. I read so much as a kid that my dad used to ground me from books. "You can't read for pleasure again until Friday. Now, go outside and play!"

    More than one person has told me that I can be difficult sometimes because I am quite literal with words. I take you at your...word...and that can be troublesome at times.

    "...discussing definitions delights me every time. (I adore alliteration the way some people revere rhyming.)" Nice. :)

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  8. I've been known to read the car manual myself, desperate times you know! And along those lines, I love etymology too, it makes words feel so alive and related across the world.

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  9. I'm such a word girl--I have found that after memorizing the car manual it works for me to keep a book of poetry in the car. It's a large anthology, so it will take me a very long time to get through it, and if I only have a little time I can still get through a whole poem.

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  10. Yes, definitely a word girl. Early talker, avid reader, love to play with words. And I am very proud to have passed those genes on the my child. I was so proud this morning when she told me "she was very frustrated." She pronounced and used it correctly. That's my girl!

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  11. I'm a word girl!! I have to read everything too. There's so much to learn from reading!

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  12. Words. I loves them.

    I used to read the dictionary and the encyclopedia for fun. Words are POWER.

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  13. I'm a word girl too. I love to read.

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  14. Absolutely. I love using good words, especially ones that aren't used as much.

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  15. hey there!! no, you are right, nature doesn't play "by people's rules of etiquette"...and to tell you the truth...I could learn a thing or two from nature!! lol

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  16. We love watching Word Girl! We're big fans. WORD UP!!

    My son is a wordsmith, but I'm not sure whether I am or not. I know I'm a stickler for proper language.

    I might be more of a music girl. I can't imagine life without music. Music has taken me through times when religion failed me.

    Strangely enough, I love both but don't seem to have a huge amount of talent in either... Go figure.

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  17. love words, but kind of love the numbers too!

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  19. I had to delete my first comment because I misspelled a word! I love words, but I love them when they are spelled correctly.

    Thank you so much Green Girl for all of the wonderful words about me and my shop. I am so humbled by it all.

    Thanks. :)

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  20. Totally a word girl. Books were/are a sanctuary and refuge. I'm never bored if I have something to read.

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  21. I am also a Word Girl. I actually get a little antsy if I don't have a book to read after I finish the one in my hands.

    That's why I love the internet so much. There's ALWAYS something to read.

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  22. Definitely! Husband and I have so much fun doing crosswords together. At least we do them together when he doesn't finish it first!

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  23. Yep! I love words and quotes too...

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Spill it, reader.