2007-11-24

My Name is Jen and I am a Logophile

log•o•phile

Pronunciation: (lô'gu-fīl", log'u-), [key]
—n.
a lover of words.

"There is a disease which consists in loving words too much. Logophilia first manifests itself in childhood and is, alas, incurable." - Peter Ackroyd

Since childhood, books have been my friends and I have always read constantly. At 10 years of age, I could often be found in a patch on sunlight in my bedroom, my dog Trouble with his head on my lap and my nose buried in a Vocabulary Builder.

I wasn't like other kids.

They wouldn't sit with me on the bus and I was always chosen last for school dances and for teams. But I wouldn't have traded my love of words for the social acceptance of people that listened to disco and called each other to make sure they'd be wearing matching skirts the next day.

I made it through the worst years of school by reading bags and bags of books that I would pass on to the few weirdo friends I had. I moved from sci fi to sociology to Sufi poetry to Sartre without out a sense of ever being full of enough knowledge.

Etymology
is also a hobby that I take no shame in announcing to the world. How language came about, the zigzagging history of various words, the bizarre rules different languages have and the endless number of words that can be encountered make me a happy girl. There are even words about words! That is glorious! And new words are being coined all the time! And, yes, I can be quite the sesquipedalian.

And I'm not the only one.

Because of continued voracious appetite for words and knowledge, I stumble across heretofore unknown words constantly. Today, I took great joy in discovering the word crepuscular. It sounds like some horrific bodily fluid that leaks from some horrific infection.

Quite the opposite.

It refers to what I always called a "God sky." You know, the ones they feature on Christian album covers - a dark, cloud filled sky with sunlight streaming through from what seems a single source from behind, throwing shadow and light in a truly heavenly fashion.

For a dry yet accurate description, lets go to Wikipedia.

Crepuscular rays, in atmospheric optics, also known as sun rays or God's rays, are rays of sunlight that appear to radiate from a single point in the sky. These rays, which stream through gaps in clouds, are diverging columns of sunlit air separated by darker cloud-shadowed regions. The name comes from their frequent occurrences during twilight, when the contrasts between light and dark are the most obvious. Various airborne compounds scatter the sunlight and make these rays visible. We see the light so defined because of diffraction, reflection and scattering.

Is that not cool?







Let me show you:

Can you almost hear the choir?

Me, neither.

But what a lovely word.




I must now go back to putting many words into a document and sending them to someone so that they can be inserted into a magazine full of many, many words.

Just had to share.

5 comments:

AnswerGirl said...

"Crepuscular" is a great word. So are "lambent," "circadian," and "fungible"... just a few of my favorites.

Sean Chercover said...

Okay, you love words. But how do you feel about logos?

Jen Jordan said...

I haven't met a logo I didn't like. Because I believe, deep down, all logos are good at heart.

Cuidado said...

A couple of crepusculars for you:
http://www.justpictureit.shutterchance.com/photoblog/Beam_Me_Up_/
http://www.justpictureit.shutterchance.com/photoblog/Heaven_Sent_/
and a very beautiful song:
http://media.putfile.com/Crepuscular-Solidao---Bonnie-Raitt--Cesaria-Evora

Anonymous said...

news geek sister here found a new word while watching Face the Nation. I had to pull out the dictionary first thing Sunday morning before coffee. you know how I am before coffee. I babble and delay getting to the point

Quintessence the purest most essential element of a thing

Dude used this in reference to a coup in Pakistan. I suppose violence is in a way one of the purest most essential? elements. Any way cool word