Do you know that words become extinct if they aren't used enough? Lexicographers research word usage and drop hundreds of neglected words from the dictionary every year.
To counter this, Oxford University Press has launched an initiative called Save The Words. You can 'adopt' a word i.e. resolve to use it more, in your conversations, written communication or anywhere else. This increases the chances of the word's survival.
Why Should You Save Words?
Words make language richer. Synonyms are not interchangeable. There is a difference between insufficiency, poverty and penury, and language would be poorer without any one of these words.
Studies also find a correlation between a culture's language and how members of the culture think and act. It is said that the narrower the language, the less evolved the thought patterns of people using the language. Remember Orwell's 1984?
Besides, we want crossword composers to have a wider field to choose from. We don't want the same words recycled in the grid!
How Can You Save Words?
- Sign-Up at Save The Words.
- Adopt from their list of endangered words. They have some wonderful-sounding ones: AEIPATHY (continued passion), DILORICATE (to rip open a sewn piece of clothing) and SPARSILE (of a star not belonging to any constellation) to name a few.
- Pledge to use your adopted word as often as you can: in emails, SMSes, in office presentations, in your blog title, wear in on your T-shirt or get it tattooed!
In return for adopting a word, you get this certificate:
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