I’m a word nerd

I love words.  Take the word “neuter” (I know, that’s weird, but it fits into an essay I’m working on so it’s on my mind).  If you consider the derivation of neuter, you find that


James Murray, primary editor of the Oxford English Dictionary

between its various Latinate roots and its related cousins in other languages, somewhere in its ancestry it means “neither” — as in, neither gender — and it’s also descended from the word “also” — as in, this gender and that one.

So neuter is neither gender AND both genders.  At the same time.  Come on, that’s just cool.  It’s like a whole poem or mini-essay, sparking the mind to all kinds of possibilities.  In just one word and its family tree.

I’ve always been a word nerd.  When I was bored as a kid, I spent a lot of time with the Almanac of Words at Play, a book of erudite word games for adults, the kind of thing two literary types had on their shelves for their kids to find.

I’m coming out of the nerd closet.  One of the greatest things about passing 50 is I have little left to prove and time to indulge my passions.  Two hours with horses this morning and quality dictionary time in the late afternoon, what could be better?



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