Just for fun, and to learn some new words, I was thinking about doing a monthly series at our local library. There is a pleasant room near the front entrance that is free for once-a-month meetings. I have attended many meetings there which usually have an attendance of between ten and thirty people. That would be a good size for a group to play with some specific words.
My intention is to make it useful to the people who show up. We could begin by doing about three different categories of words at each meeting. For example, we could begin with the Reader’s Digest current month’s list of words. Play the game of each person picking what they believe to be the best definition. Then move over to the RD’s definition and then go to the internet and compare a couple of online dictionaries’ definitions. If we had about ten people we could do a round robin with each person making a sentence using the word. The goal in this first exercise is to make it a fun way for people to get in touch with some common words.
The second set of ten words could be derived from some special social group, such as modern kids talk, valley girl lingo, local place names, computerese, and one I encountered yesterday – made up words that should exist, like chairdrobe which is the use of a chair for a clothing wardrobe.
The third set of words could be brought in by the individuals in attendance. Those could be anything they found interesting and which might be interesting to others. Many people will have some special words that they know that the general public doesn’t. As a kid growing up on a farm I encountered lots of specialty words that were common to us but unknown to city folk. No doubt the Manhattanites would have lots of special words that are unknown to Bendites.
Tomorrow I will draft a meeting handout. We need a name. How about Funny Words?