Monday, March 19, 2007

Word Nerds

I am a self-professed word nerd. Meaning, I like to read pretty much anything I get my hands on. Have done so since I was a kid. Ever since my days as a teacher's pet in elementary school on. Words, reading, and writing kept me focused on my academic and personal goals in life.

This weekend... I'm SO late on this... I discovered a new podcast: The Word Nerds. It's about exploring the roots and origins of words we use daily in English. It's fun. It's educational. It's word nerd listening heaven :-)

Anyway, I've never been ashamed of my habit/hobby of reading or writing. I'm not a hermit, I have social skills, I still interact regularly with friends and family, and I do have my share of non-reading fun. Still it stings, when someone calls you a word nerd... with a negative connotation in their voice. And makes you want to keep your reading/writing habit in the closet.

Especially when fun these days is defined as "who can have the sluttiest weekend" to "who slept in the longest on Sunday" to "who did the most shots." Not knocking those things. I have my moments too. But they're not hobbies. OK, maybe for some.

Anyway, no shame here. But while reading Clay Cane's blog, and the review of John Amaechi's book Man in the Middle, I found this quote (from Amaechi's book) which Clay loved and I do too:

“If you really want to screw a bunch of poor black kids, tell them to focus on basketball when only one in a thousand will even make it to the college level, let alone secure a scholarship. It’s a great way to make sure there’ll be plenty of street cleaners and burger flippers. There’s nothing wrong with that kind of honest work, except the low income and lack of benefits. But when dead-end jobs become destiny, that’s when hope departs and despair takes root.”

I guess being considered a word nerd isn't so bad after all. Might be kind of a leap, but I think you get the gist of what I'm writing about today.

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