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When you know all the words in the dictionary ...

When my daughter Ananya was little, one day she learned that I worked with words and decided to test me out. She reached for the dictionary on her bookshelf and opened a page at random. She read a word, looking at me quizzically. When I told her the meaning of the word, she flipped a few pages and picked another, then another, and another.

After five or six words she was impressed that I knew all the words in the English language. What she didn't realize was that it was a children's dictionary even though it looked like a big book in her tiny hands.

I didn't explain it. I savored the admiration, knowing that I'd have plenty of opportunities to be demoted to a know-nothing when she became a teenager (she's now in college, and I'm neither a wizard, nor a know-nothing; just a regular human).

Well, I don't know all the words in English. I know a few and I discover more every day and share them with you. I especially like to find out where a word came from, what highways and streets and alleys it took to reach the English language making it one big happy language.

English is big and getting bigger. Discovering it is a project of a lifetime. Or several. I'm thankful that you are with me.

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Thank you,

Anu Garg

Words form the thread on which we string our experiences. -Aldous Huxley, novelist (1894-1963)

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