Swimming in Words

I have always loved words.  As a kid, I loved to just flip the dictionary open to a random page and read all of the words, their definitions, and the etymology.  I was fascinated about why each word was chosen to represent what it did, why some words had so many different meanings, and just the sound of different words.  I used to enjoy the challenge of trying to deploy more obscure or at least unusual words into conversations.  In doing so, I increased my vocabulary.  Years later, as a High School English teacher, I used to encourage my students to do the same thing when they had idle time.  I have never lost my love for words and my enjoyment of the richness of the English language with all its mongrel origins.

Therefore, I knew I was in a tricky spot when this week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt was to incorporate a word and its definition in an art journal page.  Impossible!  How on earth could I ever choose a single, solitary word?  By the time I actually had some free time for art, I had arrived at my solution: I was not going to visually represent one word; I was going to visually represent my love of all words.  I, therefore, covered an art journal page in dictionary pages (from a discarded, library reject dictionary, worry ye not) and then drew my doodle version of me swimming among the words, an endless sea of vocabulary for me to explore, float through and enjoy.

12 - Swimming in Words - Art Journal Page

Small Differences: Pudding

Just as my children are picking up the denominations of coins quicker than I am, they are also adapting their vocabulary in a way that I am not.  My youngest two are now referring to their trousers as pants whereas to me pants are and probably always will be underwear,  Pudding is another one the kids keep correcting me on.

When I say to them that there is a dessert to follow the main course I refer to it as pudding whether it’s cake, ice cream or yogurt.  If it is a sweet treat that follows a main course then to me it is a pudding.  Pudding in Scotland can also, of course, refer to a very specific type of dessert – a cake full of dried fruit or baked bread and milk or rice cooked in cream would all qualify as puddings.  Here in America, however, pudding is a very specific type of sweet confection, a sort of milk-based gloop a bit like a less-set blancmange.  I can’t stand it because too me textureless food is invalid food so it instantly makes me feel queasy.  Mr Pict and the kids all love it.

For the sake of clarity, therefore, I am going to strive to teach myself to say “dessert” instead of pudding.