26 July, 2015

Online Interest

Your comments, thoughts, suggestions, issues, and insight are always welcome. Please feel free to reply to any or all of my posts.

The other day I came across an interesting post:

No one appreciates more or adores the obscure like yours truly.

However, it was the comments below this post that had me wondering about readership capabilities and the author's responsibility towards them.

A few, like me, appreciate these handy tid-bits of information and would like to use them in their work while a majority of the respondents said nay, that if the word is obscure, then the reader will turn away.

What got me riled up was a remark about not wanting to send their readers to a dictionary -- ever.

As a child, I remember a 5th grade reader that had a glossary in the back. I poured over that thing like it was diamonds and rubies and pearls.

Later, I would write down every word that I wasn't familiar with and then go home to open our family dictionary and look them up.

Being a linguist, studying language, and having an innate curiosity about words all my life, I can't think of a single negative about the dictionary.

What I won't do is sacrifice my love of words for the sake of those who don't love them. If a reader doesn't want to be bothered, who am I to argue?

It was late in life that I learned something interesting about our language skills, but it bears repeating here.

Where do you think we get a majority of our vocabulary from? Our parents? Peers? In school?

The answer may surprise you.

We gain most of our vocabulary from books.

Books with words in them are how we acquire our language and the knowledge of words.

It is upsetting to know that some people think that to learn anything new (or old in this case) is somehow inhibiting, bad, or a waste of time.

Poppycock! And, I'm attempting to bring back gads!, too.

Hmm ... perhaps this calls for another disclaimer in my next novel?

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