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Jan 2, 2023
This week’s theme
Misc words

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

I was around 10 when I discovered Scrabble. My cousin’s father had brought them this fascinating new board game where you made interlocking words on a grid. I didn’t have the game at home so I played at my cousin’s.

I once added the hook LO.

“Lo is not a word,” My cousin objected.
“It is!”
“Dad, is lo a word, L-O?” he hollered.
“No, it’s spelled L-O-W,” his father gave the verdict from the other room and continued doing whatever grown-up thing he was doing. I removed my letters from the board and we continued the game.

You’d think the straightforward thing to do would be to look it up in a dictionary, but when I was growing up you didn’t prove a grown-up wrong.

After the game was over I came home, looked up the word in my dictionary, and forgot all about it. Live lightly -- don’t hold grudges. Works for me.

The following week I went to my cousin’s for a few rounds of Scrabble. As I was leaving his dad handed me a box.
“For you,” he said.
I opened it. Inside was a brand-new Scrabble.

I have been fascinated with the game ever since. Last year I started wondering what if there’s a way to arrange any text into a Scrabble-like grid. So I created Scrabalize.

You give it any text, names of your family members or the full-text of Romeo and Juliet. It will return you the words in a beautiful grid.

Give it a try and let me know what you think. It’s a work-in-progress so any bug reports and suggestions are most welcome. It works in dozens of languages.

While you play with Scrabalize, this week we’ll feature a few miscellaneous words in A.Word.A.Day.

hark

PRONUNCIATION:
(hark)

MEANING:
verb intr.:
1. To listen attentively.
2. Hark back: to allude to or return to a previous topic, time, event, etc.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Old English heorcian (to listen). Earliest documented use: 1175. A variant is hearken.

USAGE:
“Such renamings often purport to hark back to an unsullied past, but are really exercises in nationalist mythmaking.”
A Guide to Renamed Cities; The Economist (London, UK); Mar 26, 2022.

See more usage examples of hark in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right. -Isaac Asimov, scientist and writer (2 Jan 1920-1992)

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