I’ve always loved words: unusual words, technical words, words with interesting etymologies, words that are often misused.
For a while at the end of the last millennium, I wrote little filler items about words for the British Medical Journal, under the slightly self-congratulatory title Words to the Wise. Some have survived to become accessible on the internet, albeit mostly behind a paywall on the BMJ website:
Turning the worm
An extended family
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
Words that count (free full content)
The white album
Muscling in (free full content)
I also used to write occasional Word of the Day items for the site yourDictionary.com, almost all of which have now disappeared. There seems to be a solitary example remaining, oddly preserved on a completely different website. Not even my best one …
So, the set of posts Categorized as “Words” is my chance to get back into that sort of thing. And this time, since I’m setting the rules, I may make occasional diversions to talk about letters, phrases or quotations, too.
I’m planning to include phonetic pronunciations, which will involve a little preliminary fiddling around with web fonts. I apologize in advance if you find yourself peering at some little white boxes or question marks where there should be IPA characters.