“A” is for “aalii”

When the stars are in alignment and things seem to come together at a special point, it’s fun. Nothing wrong with fun. Especially when you hit a significant birthday – such as 50.

I don’t feel 50. I don’t feel like I thought I should feel at 50. I remember when my dad was 50 and I thought, “Wow, my dad’s old.” But now I’ve hit the half century, I still feel much younger.

To help me get over the psychological hump – and although I can’t do anything to stop me becoming 50, I don’t have to like it – my wife bought me a new toy: The complete 20-volume Second Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. Not a dictionary; the dictionary.

Russell and the OED

Russell and the OED

My previously beloved two-volume Shorter Oxford English Dictionary has now become my cherished and admired backup, giving way to the heady, seductive passion that oozes from my latest acquisition.

What better way celebrate the arrival of the new mistress than creating a blog that will allow me to talk about words and language. I can share my lexical explorations or answer vexing etymological questions. Note that this is different from entomological questions, which are about things that bug you.

It’s worth pointing out that I am not much taller than the stacked OED. I probably also weigh less.

So come back each week and check out what’s new. If you have suggestions, simply leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to help.

Oh, and the word aalii? It’s “a bushy shrub, Dodonaea viscosa, of Australia, Hawaii, Africa, and tropical America, having sticky foliage.” I don’t intend to start at “A” and work my way through to “Z” but it’s not a bad word with which to start.




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