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Welcome to issue #11 of  Words Matter. Please feel free to share with a friend! 

Here's the good stuff.

Here comes summer, and while learning never stops, the heat and humidity may cause it to flop about a bit. Let's have some fun with words. I asked a group of friends and associates to tell me their favorite word and why. I took it as a good sign that few people could limit themselves to one word!

People like these words because of their pronunciation, mispronunciation, alliteration, or onomatopoeia. In case you forgot, onomatopoeia describes words that sound like what they are - like buzz or ding.


WORD Like/dislike because:
susurrus It means a soft murmuring or rustling sound or a whisper.
hyperbole Why isn't it hyper-bowl?
paradigm Why isn't it para-dig-um?
onomatopoeia Because it DOESN'T sound like what it is!
epitome It's the epi-tome of stupidity!

I also received some made up words:
blaargh It means a cross between yuk and being irritated.
grok From "Stranger in a Strange Land", it means comprehend
hoosehase What my 3 year old son called my briefcase, based on the word suitcase.

More words people like/ dislike for one reason or another
enigma The fact that no reason was given is itself an enigma.
nebulous So much better than saying vague.
indefatigable Tiring to say, but it means someone or something that can't be tired out or worn down.
inflammable Is it or isn't it?
irregardless "The prefix ir- and the suffix -less are redundant!" Actually, they aren't redundant, but the ir- is still unnecessary!


Kids tend to come up with nouns or nonsense words as their favorites. "Dragon!" said my nine year old God-son, who happened to have a dragon fixation at the moment. I suspect it would have been "dinosaur" two years earlier. His twin brother said "wowiemomma", much to the eye-rolling of his mother. 

PLEASE TRY THIS AT HOME! Create your own list from your family and friends and then you and your kids can write some sentences using those words. 

Morpheme of the week:  The root CAP

Enjoy this brief video that comes directly from WordBuild Elements Level 1. 
The root CAP
The root CAP

We'll be in Richmond, Virginia for the HEAV conference next week. 

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Jerry Bailey
President & CEO
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