To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. - Ecc. 3

El Yunque, Puerto Rico


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

i love words

i had the same conversation two days in a row with different (awesome) people about how i (and they) love words.  in one of my favorite books-- Temple of My Familiar by Alice Walker-- she says that humans aren't superior because they have language but rather that they need language because they are so prone to screwing things up that they need to be able to explain themselves.  however you want to look at it we have a plethora of beautiful words to be played with, swallowed, tied up in, poured over and appreciated.  i write down the words i don't know when i am reading a book and look them up later.  today i learned the word inimical.

Pronunciation: \i-ˈni-mi-kəl\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Late Latin inimicalis, from Latin inimicus enemy — more atenemy
Date: 1573
1 : being adverse often by reason of hostility or malevolence 
2 a : having the disposition of an enemy : hostile  b :reflecting or indicating hostility : unfriendly 
— in·im·i·cal·ly  \-mi-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Here is how Steinbeck used it in the book I was reading today,  East of Eden: "The emotion of nonviolence was building in him until it became a prejudice like any other thought-stultifying prejudice.  To inflice any hurt on anything for any purpose became inimical to him."  
anyone else get chills?
[big, loser sigh]

Pronunciation: \ˈstəl-tə-ˌfī\
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): stul·ti·fiedstul·ti·fy·ing
Etymology: Late Latin stultificare to make foolish, from Latin stultusfoolish; akin to Latin stolidus stolid
Date: 1737
1 archaic : to allege or prove to be of unsound mind and hence not responsible
2 : to cause to appear or be stupid, foolish, or absurdly illogical
3 a : to impair, invalidate, or make ineffective : negate b : to have a dulling or inhibiting effect on
— stul·ti·fi·ca·tion  \ˌstəl-tə-fə-ˈkā-shən\ noun


  1. I too have an affinity and sometimes over-zealous appreciation of vocabulary, vernacular, and overall verbiage. I was saying the other day...when someone confirms something, they say "word." For example, "that movie was off the hook wasn't it?"...."word!" Rarely does "number" get that kind of affection and attention. The sheer fact that I can spell out the word NUMBER goes to show word's superiority. If numbers are universal, words are in another galaxy.

  2. I too have an affinity and appreciation for vocabulary, vernacular, and overall verbiage. If you follow the timeline...word, sentence, paragraph, page, chapter, book, books...history. We are the words we use; we've always been, you just have to read between the lines.

    -Word Lover