DISCUSSION: I Am a Logophile

Here are four words so irrefutably true: I am a logophile. In a previous post, I wrote this: I am, unashamedly, a word lover. I love etymology and linguistics, I love the scratch of pen against paper and the steady ticks of my typewriter, I just love everything about words. And, perhaps, that is the closest I have ever came to articulating my love for words.

Logophile
ˈlɒɡə(ʊ)fʌɪl/
(n). a lover of words.

It seems obvious for me to say this; as a reader and blogger I must love words, right? And that's true, I have indeed always loved words. And yet, it was only recently I realised how undeniably obsessed I am. I can spend hours at a time researching word etymology (my current favourite word origin is the story behind the word 'serendipity'), and, whilst I adore writing, I'm a painfully slow writer simply because I'll spend days thinking of the right word.


My current obsession is with words that exist in other languages, yet don't exist as English words. E.g. there's a Swedish word 'mångata' which means 'a road-like reflection of the moon in water' that we don't have a word for in English. Another great one is 'tsundoku', which means 'buying books and not reading them'.

I also know a crazy number of word facts. E.g. there's a non-existent word, 'dord', which was a dictionary misprint between 1934-9, now known as a ghost word.

So yes, I'm decidedly a logophile. And I can't think of any better way to finish than with some essential Emily Dickinson: “A word is dead when it's been said, some say. I say it just begins to live that day.”

So here's an obvious question: are you also a logophile? And  on the topic of words, tell me your favourite (mine are in the image above). That's all… I think. 

15 comments:

  1. I wouldn't call myself a logophile at the moment but I'm definitely going in that direction. My favourite word is probably 'ineffable', meaning something that's just too great to put into words. I love the way it sounds ♥

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    1. It's a beautifully sounding word haha. :)

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  2. I'm definitely a logophile. Have you thought about taking English Language at A Level (I just went to an open day at the college I plan on going to and they said a lot at A Level is about exploring the meanings of words). From the age of 7 my favourite word has been Iridescent.

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    1. I'm actually doing English Lit instead. A lot of that is looking closely into language though. :) It's my most anticipated A Level!

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  3. This is a great post! I'm not quite as scientific about words as you are, but I work as a translator and I enjoy nothing more than finding a word or a phrase that sounds *just right* in Slovenian while still retaining the original meaning. And I worry incessantly about those words and expressions which are intranslatable...
    I also keep a list of words that sound good - in English, my favourites are "glue" (it sounds sticky to me), "blob", and "eerie" - at least those are the ones that I remember now.

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    1. Thank you! I can see how finding the perfect translation would be satisfying. :) I love the word "eerie" – so fun to say haha.

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  4. I'm not really a logophile, but I thought your post was beautiful! Words are fascinating things, but I don't really find myself drawn to researching them. I know a guy whose hobby is fonts, which I always thought was neat. He knows the names of fonts, can recognize them in a book, and will explain the pros and cons of certain fonts in different types of books for forever. He's also a college English major. :)

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    1. Thank you! Yes, they definitely are! Ooh that's an awesome skill. I'm thinking of getting into typography hehe. :)

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  5. My favorite college course was the history of language. It was so fascinating to see where English came from, how it was affected by history (we have a lot of French-flavored or borrowed words due to conquest) and how words evolve over time. Cellar door is supposed to be one of the most beautiful phrases in our language.

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    1. That sounds fascinating! I definitely want to learn more about the evolution of words at some point. :)

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    1. Yes! And, as a complete Buffy nerd, I love how the meaning of the word entwines with the plot of the episode named "Entropy".

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  7. Maybe not as much as you but sometimes a word will strike me and make me shiver. I love the idea of words in other languages with a meaning we don't have a word for ourselves!!

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    1. Hehe same here. :) And yes, it's so cool!

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  8. If you are interested in various stuff dedicated to the world of writing craft need to visit this link http://writemypaper4me.org/blog/sat-essay-tips.html

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