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WORDS TO LIVE BY

de (22-8-2010)

As a teacher, I’m always looking for something to entertain my students.  Especially in English language classes.  There are all sorts of word games.  In the U.S., as here in Romania, we have Scrabble and Hangman, Crossword Puzzles, Jumbles and Spelling Bees, to name a few.  As another activity, I sometimes ask my students what their favorite words are for sound, construction and meaning.  Then we play a little game.  The rules are that the words have to contain a certain letter group, a prefix, a suffix, or all be slang, jargon or borrowed words from other languages (For example, the words on a certain list would have to begin with “con” as in confidence, continuous, connection, etc.)   And, they must list a dozen of them.  My students come up with some really great stuff.  Like pizza (of course we all love that) a borrowed word, playful (always a necessity in any lesson planning for kids) a word that ends in the suffix “ful”,  and fashionable (which they all are in their own unique way) a word that ends in the suffix “able”.  I have favorite words myself in the English language and they all end in “ous”:

Delirious-Sometimes when life hands you surprises, it really can make you delirious.

Fabulous-The best things in life are free and that’s fabulous.

Fortuitous-Anytime there’s a moment that you didn’t expect to be so perfect, it’s so fortuitous.

Generous-It’s never a bad idea to be generous.

Gregarious-You’ll make many friends by being gregarious.

Hilarious-When you can laugh at yourself, it can really be hilarious.

Loquacious-I love to be around others who are loquacious.

Magnanimous-Magnanimous gestures and memorable people go hand in hand.

Mellifluous-How nice it is when life is truly mellifluous.

Mysterious-On occasion, it’s fun to be a bit mysterious.

Notorious-Everyone should be notorious for something truly good.

Ravenous-Besides great food, I am ravenous whenever I think about great words to know.

English is such a diverse language because over 95 % of it is formulated from other languages.  It’s not hard to see why us “wordsmiths” love it.  And sure, we should all strive to be global communicators.  Having been teaching here in the Peace Corps for a year now, I can see that we’re all learning together how to understand each other. It’s just wondrous.

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