WFMAD Day 5 – Word geeking in community

The WFMAD 2009 Challenge is steaming ahead!

I am honored that this Challenge was featured in the NCTE Inbox Blog, along with a wonderful discussion about creating writing communities in the classroom. If you are a teacher, you definitely want to read this.

I’d like to send a shout-out, too, to the teachers who attended my speech at the SUNY Oswego Writing Institute on Monday. Welcome to the Forest!

This raises an interesting possibility for me. How many of you have online writing buddies? I’m not thinking of a critiquing partner, but someone who will help keep you honest about daily writing time. If you don’t have one, would you like one? Want me to help?

OK, now, to work!

I studied linguistics in college and am a very proud word geek. I ADORE the English language.  The language takes strength from the contributions of many languages, just like the US draws strength from the cultural diversity of our people.


Today’s advice:
Mix it up. Allow yourself to write things that are not part of your work in progress. All language play will strengthen your writing.


Today’s prompt: I’ve listed two obscure words below, along with some etymology and definition from the online Oxford English Dictionary. Your assignment, if you choose to accept it, is to write a riff on one or both words, or figure out a way to incorporate whatever you’re writing.

TO SHIVE: "[f. SHIVE n.1 Cf. ON. skífa.]  trans. To cut (bread) into slices.

1570 LEVINS Manip. 152/39 To shiue, dissecare. 1629 GAULE Holy Madn. 343 He shiues out his Bread by weight or measure.

DWALE: [In sense 1, a variant of DWELE n., = OE. *dwela, dweola, dwola, dwala, error, heresy, madness; in sense 2 app. aphetic for OE. {asg}edweola, -dwola, etc. error, heresy, madness, also heretic, deceiver; f. ablaut-series dwel-, dwal-, dwol-: see DWELL v. Cf. OE. dwol- in comb. ‘erring, heretical’, and Goth. dwals ‘foolish’.]