Over the holidays, my parents and I sat down for some instense rounds of Scrabble. In the game of Scrabble, if you lay down a word and another player dounts that the word does not exist, they can challenge you. The challenger looks the word in the dictionary to see if it's there. If it is there, the challenger loses his or her next turn.
Influenced by the Italian neighborhood I live in, I laid down the word trattoria. It is, in fact, in the dictionary, where it is described as "a small, inexpensive Italian restaurant." Just for fun, I started browsing the dictionary. I'd find words I didn't know the meaning of and ask my folks to guess what those words meant.
The game ended, and I kept looking through the dictionary, having a ball finding words I wasn't familiar with. "What's 5 times 365?" I asked my dad. "One thousand, eight hundred twenty-five" came the answer. "Well, I want to learn five new words a day in 2008," I declared.
I decided to start my big project even though the New Year has not yet begin. The same night I returned from California, I walked over to the book store to purchase Webster's New World College Dictionary. Today, I found my five new words:
grilse- a young salmon on its first return from sea to fresh water
lobelia - an annual or prennial plants of the bellflower family, having white, red, or blue flowers of very irregular shape
molder -to crumble into dust; waste; decay
numen -an indwelling, guiding force or spirit
pied - covered with patches or spots
I'm excited to be 1,825 words richer by this time next year!