Addicted to words

I’ve always been attracted to words. What’s that called? Bibliophile? No, not quite, but  I’m definitely a bibliophile in my compulsive desire to collect books. I recently added bookshelves to my rooms, but I’ve still got books living in boxes. I’ll do my best to steer clear of the April book sale that the Friends of the Eugene Library put on. For a couple of years in a row I would come away with a few boxes of books. Books that I want to read some day. Books that I would love to teach. Authors that I have read in the past. Since my Reading endorsement covers K-12, I have the excuse of buying for that range.

I try to read a wide range. I’ve been working on Great Expectations for a while now. Sometimes I have to let it go and read a great young adult book or a book that isn’t so chewy. But chewy words entertain me. Get me off on tangents.

My problem with chewy books or chewy blogs is that I get hung up on words and phrases that I don’t know and the tangents distract me from the mission at hand: reading. Yes, I admit that I have a problem.

My name is Susan and I’m a logophile, a hopeless addict of words. I’ve been this way ever since I knew what a word was. I used to keep a hand-written list of words that I didn’t know, and since it was alphabetical and hand-written, I had to re-write the list often. Not only would I write the word down, but everything that goes with it. Part of speech. Definition. Example. Sometimes the example would come from the passage I was reading or some times it would come from the dictionary.

This may explain why I have over thirty games of Words With Friends going at the same time, though I will admit that I don’t know the meanings of some of the words I put together. I know enough to throw together common letter combinations and when WWF accepts my creation, I’m surprised, but often too busy with my other games to take the time to look them up.

I was reading a blog about someone blaming Jamie Lee Curtis and just within the first two paragraphs, my curiosity was piqued. (How can a word cause somebody to be in a bad mood and arouse somebody’s interest as the word piqued does.)

The blog I was reading referred to a person as being henna-tressed. In the good old days I would grab one of the two volumes of my Oxford Dictionary and glance through the pages to locate henna and tressed. I often found other words along the way. This is what I miss about using the computer’s dictionary; it doesn’t give me other words that may be of interest, and it my case, this means most of the words on the page.

I’m not a person that does anything with my hair. To me, hair is a pain in the butt. When I go to get my hair cut, I tell them that I don’t want to come back for a while. I loved working at the military-style school because I could get away with having a military cut without getting strange looks. I certainly wasn’t ever going to let my hair grow long enough to put it up. That would take too much time in the morning. My basic routine is to wash, condition, towel dry, and run a comb through my hair. I don’t touch it for the rest of the day. I don’t carry a comb or a brush to touch up my hair. Sometimes I get home and I look in the mirror for the first time and I wonder how long have I had a clump standing up or doing it’s own thing. I live the out of sight out of mind philosophy when it comes to hair.

Of course I looked up the words henna and tressed. Since henna could be referencing to a bush, and I’ve seen some hairstyles that look like they were attempting to be bush-like, I figured that in this context, it had something to do with reddish brown.

I’ve colored my hair just once in my life. I was coming to the end of my career at the military school. One of the rules sometimes enforced prohibited cadets from coloring their hair. As I said, coloring my hair had never been in my repertoire, but I was in the mood for breaking some rules. I didn’t come to school totally blonde, but I did have blonde highlights. At the root of the military-style issued rules, hair was supposed to be the natural color of that person. I wasn’t really breaking the rule since I had been blonde for most of my life. Okay, so at least half of my life. It says I’m blonde on my driver’s license. There’s not enough room to say dirty dishwasher blonde or whatever in the middle my hair is. It’s not really grey; I thank genetics for that, but it’s not really brown. If it were grey, I’m not sure if I would mind. I’ve never been there, so I am guessing I’d have the same attitude as I do now. Maybe.

me on 2-5-15 at 12.49 PM (compiled)Tressed was a word that my Office Word program couldn’t process. It’s that archaic that I had to use the internet. I knew it had something to do with the color of the hair. Braids would have been recognizable, but it doesn’t have the same rhythm of tressed.

You may be getting the impression that I’m a slow reader because of all of these extra steps. I had to stop twice in just the first paragraph and the second paragraph was similar. The woman with the colored braids asked another woman what she was doing with her hair and was so shocked at her statement that she wasn’t coloring her hair anymore that it stunned the room into silence. The blogger went on to say that hipsters call this silence Crickets. We must not have hipsters in Eugene, Oregon as I’ve never heard this phrase, not even in the most hippest of high schools that I’ve been to. As a substitute teacher, I find myself in the know of the newest of phrases. I’m so glad that the word dank is finally starting to fade from vocabularies as dank will never be anything but dark and moldy in my books. There’s nothing good about being dank.


1 Comment

  1. Well, “tressed” would be like “of the hair” as tresses are hair… so henna (a hair coloring/herb) tressed would just be henna-colored hair.

    That would be my guess before googling it.

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