Saturday, May 7, 2016

Life-Sized Word Search #1

Do you love scavenger hunts AND adding words to your vocabulary!? No? Well, either way I'm going to share about a new challenge I'm giving myself: I call it "Life-Sized Word Search" and basically it means I'll be finding a real-life instance of every word in the dictionary.

In some ways this idea started back when I was growing up and my mom would give my brother and me a "word of the day." That new word would broaden our horizons and keep us on the lookout for new things. Without a doubt this world is a big, strange, wonderful place.

So here are the rules:
1. Find every word in the dictionary. (I'll be using the New Oxford American Dictionary primarily because it's the one sitting on my Mac desktop, easy).
2. Words on websites don't count. Otherwise I could google everything, that would be lame.
3. Only one conjugation of a word needed. No proper nouns, phrases, jargon, archaic words, or abbreviations.
4. When I find a word I cross it off the list and add a new word to the bottom. At any given time I'll be looking for like 100 or 125 words.
5. Have fun! Life is a game so enjoy.

Hopefully this little "project" will lead me on mini-adventures, remind me of how delightful language is, and stave away a wee bit of boredom.

The challenge begins today and I'm already pleased with what I've found. I found the word "abutment" when I was reading a book on basketball of all places! That just goes to show that you never know where a word is going to pop up.

a: It's been fun to fill my daughter's bookshelf (she's 7 months old) with books for her to enjoy. I grabbed a few of the alphabet books for a quick photo.

abacus: Stumbled across in a book I'm currently reading. Pg. 80-81 of Ancient Puzzles: Classic Brainteasers and Other Timeless Mathematical Games of the Last 10 Centuries by Dominic Olivastro. He references the publication of Liber Abaci (The Book of the Abacus) by Leonardo Pisano (or Fibonacci). 

ablative: I happened to shuffle around some books on my bookshelf today. I peeked into my old Latin Grammar book to find an instance of the word 'ablative.' [I'm pretty sure I also stumbled across the word last week when I was peeking through a German grammar book?]

abutment: Not every word has to come from a book but here you go, from pg. 236 of Can I Keep My Jersey? by Paul Shirley. He is writing about driving in Russia: "First of all, the streets have no markings. No lane lines, no turning lanes. The roads are one big racetrack, with the added obstacle of cars choosing entirely new directions of travel at a moment's notice. It is not so bad when the streets are confined by some boundary, such as buildings, a canal, or a bridge abutment. However, when a widening occurs -- near an intersection, for example -- all hell breaks loose."

These finds were just in the short lead-up to this post. But now the real search begins! The hunt is on for words starting with aa- or ab- . If you think I am missing or skipping a word I shouldn't, let me know. Below is my starting list:

a cappella, A-frame, aha, a la, a-line, a-list, a-okay, a posteriori, a priori, a-shirt, A-side, A-team, A1, aa, aardvark, aardwolf, aargh, abs, abdabs, abaca, aback, abaft, abalone, abandon, abase, abash, abate, abates, abattoir, abaxial, abaya, abbey, abbot, abbreviate, abdicate, abdomen, abduct, abecedarian, abele, abelian, abelian, aberrant, abet, abeyance, abhinaya, abhor, abide, ability, abiotic, abject, abjuration, ablate, ablaut, ablaze, able, able-bodied, ableist, abloom, ablush, ablution, ably, abnegate, abnormal, aboard, abode, abolish, abomasa, abominable, aboral, aboriginal, aborisation, aborning, abort, aboulia, abound, about, about-face, above, above-board, above-mentioned, above-named, abracadabra, abrade, abrasion, abreaction, abreast, abridge, abroad, abrogate, abrupt, abscess, abscise, abscissa, abscission, abscond, abseil, absence, absinthe, absolute, absolution, absolutism, absonant, absorb, absquatulate, abstain, abstemious, abstinence, abstract, abstruse, absurd, abubble, abulia, abundance, aura, abuse, abustle, abutilon, abuzz, abyss

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