September 10, 2007

Redefining The Dictionary

I was going to post about school, about my being a corporate sell-out, about any number of interesting little tidbits that made up my last school blog but are now regulated to random I-can't-deteacher-my-brain-long-enough-to-think-of-anything-to-post-about posts. Luckily, I was reminded of something I've wanted to share for a while.

Actually, you do get a bit of a story, but it's short. I promise. So, on a regular basis I am confronted with the "Why do you teach English?" question. For the students who ask this question the answer is almost always, "I'm a geek." Other teachers, English geeks, language addicts, bibliophiles, and anyone with a lexicon that has a vast majority of words above a 9th grade reading level get a slightly different answer. I'm in love with words. The make me happy. I can't imagine a life that doesn't function and fluctuate with the variances of language. Word play (i.e. puns and riddles), commonly unused words, idioms, how writers use the words they choose, and especially the re-appropriation of words (for example: Buffy-isms or speaking as if you are part of the Scoobies (Buffy friend circle))are the stuffs that make my grey matter shiver with delight.

A while ago I was turned on to a blog that was driven by a lexicographer for the OED. I follow the blog fairly regularly (but apparently missed the sidebar with the lists of video links), mostly because she makes me laugh, and I'm a dedicated fan of the OED, even as painful as it is. It's a great source for language trivia. Don't believe me? Try it.

Anyway, I become all giddy-geeky when I read Erin McKean's blog posts. I just recently (as in a note suggesting I watch it was in my email this morning) discovered her speaking on video. And since I was just introduced to her talks today, I thought I'd link to the goodness that is Ms. McKean's TED presentation.


ZEUS said...

I think I wet myself with joygasm. I didn't know it was even possible to geek out and laugh so much at the same time.

Incidentally, joygasm is a word I've used for a very long time and heard a lot - not in my dictionary. :)

Mandy said...

My favorite unwords are confuzzled and remembery.

Glad you like it!