Monday, 25 May 2015

Reflections on the Letter D

Only 22 Letters to Go!

Delumptious deloping Delilahs! If I haven't only gone and finished D! And it's been quite an eventful run too - somewhere in between my compulsive dictionary reading, I've managed to have a son and complete my first year in university. Of course, regular Lexi readers will know that I did take a break halfway through D - and I'd like to thank everyone for their patience as I did this. I did wonder if coming back after what ended up being a five month hiatus would mean I had no readers left, but no! Gladly, and thankfully, lots of you think that good words are worth the wait, and my daily hits quickly bounced back to their pre-break numbers! 

As for D itself, it did throw up some new and interesting words for me. Some of my favourites were delope (to deliberately miss a shot in a duel), deipnosophist (a person skilled in the art of dinner conversation) and the various and fascinating forms of deja vuThere was also a plethora of familiar but equally interesting words with curious histories and etymologies: daisy (from the Old English for 'day's eye'), drongo (it was a spectacularly naff racehorse) and doolally (an Indian town) were perhaps my favourite examples of these.

So, onward we march into the edifying edifices of E! And as we go, I would like to make a few changes to Lexicolatry, and would very much welcome feedback as I do. Firstly, I am planning to dispense with the long dictionary definitions at the start of every post - for words with short definitions (like, say, dasypygal - 'having a hairy buttocks'), I'll keep them, but for words with extensively long definitions or a myriad of meanings (like dog), I will simply explain the various meanings in text, and link to a dictionary if someone would like to read the full definition.

There are a couple of reasons for this - firstly, it takes me an awful long time to write out the long definitions. Very often, I'm really excited about a particular word, and just want to dive straight in and write! But I can't because I have to sit and tediously write out (and format) the definition. It's a bit like having an urge to just plunge into a swimming pool, but having to construct the diving board first (how's that for a contrived simile?). And, to be honest, I'm not sure how many people pore over the definitions I write anyway. So let's give this a try - posts will be more article based, and therefore quicker for me to write. But please, please give me some feedback on this - either in the comments or privately. I really do appreciate your input.

So thank you all again for your continued readership ... I look forward greatly to see you all through E!

Twitter: @lexicolatry