This week I’ve been flooding my mind with all the wondrously whimsical words waiting to be welcomed into the world of whippersnappers. Yes I have been reading the dictionary haha. The book I am currently working on is an ABCs picture book for children and I want it to be filled with words that will make children giggle and sentences that will tongue-tie parents.
We may read a lot as children and come to understand a wide variety of words, but these are narrowed down throughout life, bullied out of our bowl of rich pickings. In our human desire to ‘fit in’, children who may start off with a wonderful vocabulary soon learn to only use a select proportion of the words they have become familiar with through reading. I think this narrowing down continues throughout adulthood as we force ourselves to adapt to jobs and situations where an imaginative use of language is not considered valuable in the least.
This morning during my lengthy instagramming I came across MrsWordsmithofficial‘s page where her new dictionary for children is being advertised: ‘Storyteller’s Illustrated Dictionary’. (I just tried sharing a link to this page but I’m too technologically inept I’m sorry!) This looks like a fantastic tool which is being aimed at 9 – 15 year olds to aid them with story writing, filled with sizzling vocab and illustrations.
But what about real life…for all ages? Shouldn’t we all be enriching ourselves and those around us through our use of language? It’s so easy just to pick the most used word instead of searching our minds for the word that comes closest to what we are really thinking. I know I do this anyway. It seems like a vicious circle to me…the more we use already familiar words to describe a concept, or feeling, the more clichéd our conceptions of the world around us themselves become, until we have no need of more subtle language and it is forgotten. Also forgotten then is our ability to analyse the world around us in an original and stimulating way.
Are we treating words like precious dinner party crockery…best case scenario reaching for these prized possessions on special occasions, but more often than not simply abandoning them to gather dust on the shelf?
Do you think there is a direct link between the language you use and how you perceive the world? I think there probably is. I feel guilty for casting aside the plethora of words at our disposal, and I’m going to attempt to converse, and think, with more pizzazz from now on! With a concerted effort to enrich my own vocabulary I’m curious to see how this will influence my understanding of, well, everything. Who’s with me?! 🙂