This week’s Escape Plan challenge (aka our Tip of the Week) is #26: Mr. Smartypants. Open to a random page in the dictionary and look at the first word on the upper left-hand side. Keep turning pages until you find a word you don’t know. See how many times you can use this new word in a sentence today.
As kids we’re natural inventors of words. Jason’s mom loves to recall how as a three and four-year-old he would talk about things “misdappearing.” I knew a lot of preschoolers in my day who loved to eat pasghetti. We are experimenting with words all of the time as kids. As grown-ups we limit ourselves because we don’t want to look dumb, risking that we might use a new word incorrectly.
The limits of my language are the limits of my mind. All I know is what I have words for. -Ludwig Wittgenstein
I’ll be the first to admit that in our relationship, Jason is definitely more of the wordsmith. The other day when I was talking with our dear friend Patty (her picture is on the right hand side of this page), she interjected an impressively big word into the mix. She told me that she was hoping to be able to use that word. She had recently subscribed to Dictionary.com’s “Word of the Day” email list. So, she is basically doing the “Mr. Smartypants” challenge everyday. What childlike fun!
The other day while browsing Barnes & Noble, I found the book “100 Words To Make You Sound Smart.” I picked it up and read a few words… ones I had definitely never heard of before. What a fun book to take this challenge to a whole new level.