Saturday, August 28, 2010

Save the Words

I've confessed before that I love words, love playing with them and messing about with them. I read a quote the other day that I thought explained my fascination very nicely:

A word is the smallest free form in a language. The beginning of the explanation of an idea. The building block for sentences, leading to paragraphs, and great works of thinking. A word is like a neuron, or an atom, or a single lego block from which great things are made. ~ Daniel Donahoo

And today I found a new place online to play with words. It's called Save the Words. Sadly, hundreds of words are dropped from the English language each year. How long since you used pamphagous or magistricide in a chat?

Old words, wise words, hard-working words. Words that once led meaningful lives but now lie unused, unloved and unwanted.

The site encourages us to find room for these older but interesting words in our conversation and other communication. It even has suggestions for ways to bring words back into fashion, although I must admit I eschew skywriting as a possible method!

If you click on adopt-a-word, you get to choose a word you can adopt. I deliberated and chose pullarian as the most appropriate. (Book Chook Feather of Approval to the first commenter to tell me what it means!)

Best of all, the home page brings us a wonderful collage of words, all of which are crying out to be chosen - "me, pick me!" You can move a window over these words and scroll across your screen. When you click on a word, it gives you its definition. You can also sign up to get a word a day, and even have a word printed on a t-shirt if you live in Malaysia or Singapore.

How cool is that!

{Don't forget, Literacy Lava 6 will be published September 1!}
(Cartoon made by BookChook at ToonDoo)


  1. I love that site! I try to use as many obsolete words as I can in my blog titles at

  2. Book Chook29 August, 2010

    Holly, what a brilliant way to use Save the Words! I've just had fun at working out what you mean. Great blog!

  3. Rebecca Newman29 August, 2010

    Oh, this is a fabulous idea! I love saving old words from extinction. :-) I'm guessing pullarian has something to do with chickens. (My guess is due to knowing 'poulet' is chicken in French, and you are, well, THE BOOK CHOOK ... so that's a sort of hint. ) So, is it 'chook-like'?!

    My second guess is that it describes someone who always tries to open a door by pulling, even when there is a sign on it saying 'Push'. e.g 'Oh Max, yes, he's probably late because you have to push the door to get into the building---and he's a pullarian you know.'

  4. Beckicklesie30 August, 2010

    That is pretty bloomin' cool - I am heading over there to adopt a word! Definitely! I'm on it!

    Thanks for introducing us all to this x

  5. Book Chook30 August, 2010

    You got it! BUT, I love your pull the door definition, too. I would love to play dictionary with you - do you know it? We play with notepads and a dictionary, but I think the board game they copied from it is called Balderdash. Basically, you try to fool people with creative definitions. I wonder if we could play it here? Hmmm ... think I can feel another blog post coming on!

  6. Book Chook30 August, 2010

    Becca, I suspect you might be another word lover - welcome to the club!

  7. What a neat, neat idea to adopt a word and save it. The beautiful thing about a word is all the meaning and emotions wrapped around that tiny piece of a complete thought. Looking forward to finding and adopting a word of my own.

  8. I'm so glad you like it too, Kelly!


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