All around the world, people are playing Wordle. The popular daily word game has become a must for me (at least until a paywall presents itself), as it has for many of my friends, relatives and acquaintances.
Thinking about word games reminded me of a post I wrote ten years ago this month, not long after I started this blog. I spruced it up a little and added a couple of photos:
As far back as I can remember, I have had a penchant for words, especially the written word. Whether that love was instilled in me by a father who himself had a strong interest in language and books, or because I genetically inherited from him, I do believe he deserves most of the credit.
A familiar scene from my childhood was seeing Dad enjoy a little “light reading” before bed—devouring such tomes as War and Peace and The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. On more than one occasion he was known to take an atlas to bed, to study up on the world geographically in relation to the news of the day.
Remembering my father that way always makes me smile. If only I could talk to him more about the books we’ve read. If only we could watch one more episode of Jeopardy together or play one more game of Trivial Pursuit as a family. He would have been eight-eight years old tomorrow (March 21), but we lost him nearly twenty years ago at sixty-nine. I’ve missed him every day of my life since.
I usually read about a book a week, but my passion for words doesn’t stop there. When I think of games, word games have always been my favourite. Give me a competitive game of Scrabble any day over other board games. I also delight in solving a difficult crossword puzzle, anagram, cryptogram, or jumble. And if playing Jeopardy, what is my favourite category? You guessed it: Word Origins!
When I think of word origins, one particular book comes fondly to mind, recommended and owned by our father, and now in my possession. Our Marvelous Native Tongue – The Life and Times of the English Language by Robert Claiborne, is probably the best book ever written about the origins of our language. Thorough in its examination and encompassing the first intonations of our caveman ancestors to the many dialects of today, I found it hard to put down, even on a second reading. Particularly notable are the many words we ‘borrowed’, and then kept from other languages, making English a true amalgam, and the rich, colourful and ever-evolving tapestry of words and speech we know today.
“To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the music the words make.” ~ Truman Capote
Readers and writers:
Do you play Wordle?
What—or who—instilled in you your love of words?
*Most of the above is from an Evergreen Post written in March 2012.