Wordsmiths entice and grab our attention with their written expressions every day, whether it is through news casts, print, or video and audio. Some writers are naturally gifted; they make it seem so easy. Others like myself have to work at it and dig into the library stacks for help.
Getting children involved with reading early on gives them a huge boost in learning about the mechanics of words. The “Merriam-Webster’s First Dictionary” is specifically for Grades K—2, ages 5—7. It teaches beginning readers how to use the dictionary, word meanings, what riddles and poems are, as well as parts of speech. “American Heritage Children’s Dictionary” for ages 8—11, Grades 3—6, goes to the next level about how to use the dictionary with great illustrations including over 25,000 entries.”
For more serious help, “Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases” by Peter Mark Roget and “Word Origins: The Hidden History of English Words from A—Z [eBook]” by John Ayto are good sources.
Once you get by all of the basics, check out some of the ways writing can be fun. “The 50 Funniest American Writers: An Anthology of Humor from Mark Twain to the Onion According to Andy Borowitz” offers a wide variety of authors’ and journalists’ works for comparison.
Jon Agee’s children’s book, “Who Ordered Jumbo Shrimp? And Other Oxymorons” can be shared among all ages. Make it part of family fun night to find out how many ways you can twist the English language.
This subject was inspired by an email I received from a dear friend who enjoys a good laugh. Here are some Oxymorons that were included in the email. I think you will enjoy them.
Why do “overlook” and “oversee” mean opposite things?
Why does “fat chance” and “slim chance” mean the same thing?
Why is the “third hand” on a watch called the “second hand”?
Make a note:
- Schedules for free computer classes being offered at the Bossier Parish Libraries (BPL) during March are available online at www.bossierlibrary.org or you can pick up a printed copy at any branch.
- The Governor’s Office of Disability Affairs presents the: 2013-14 Inclusive Art Contest. It is open to Louisiana residents of all ages. Applications are available at all BPL branches. Entries must be received by April 30, 2014. The theme: “to bring awareness to our disabled community.”
“Eternity” by Elizabeth Miles
“The Fallout” by S.A. Bodeen
“45 Pounds (More or Less)” by K.A. Barson
“Catching Fire: Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins
“A Midsummer Night’s Scream” by R.L. Stein
“Out of Breath” by Rebecca Donavan
“Earthbound” by Aprilynne Pike
“The Interrupted Tale” by Maryrose Wood
“I Am Alice” by Joseph Delaney
“Fallout” by Todd Strasser
“Don’t Know Much about Geography: Everything You Need to Know About the World, but Never Learned [CD]” by Kenneth C. Davis
“It’s the Way You Say It: Becoming Articulate, Well-spoken, and Clear [CD]” by Carol A. Fleming
“Provenance, 1970 M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinventing of American Taste [CD]” by Luke Barr
“The 12 Secrets of Highly Successful Women: A Portable Life Coach for Creative Women [CD]” by Gail McMeekin
“Cat Daddy: What the World’s Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me about Life, Love, and Coming Clean [CD] by Jackson Galaxy
“Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West [CD]” by Blaine Harden
Vickie Hardin is Outreach Specialist for the Bossier Parish Library. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org