I posted nothing on my site yesterday.
I posted nothing because I was busy. Later, I was depressed.
This fall I am teaching a vocabulary class. In the class, we will study the great grandchildren of Latin and Greek. We will study the English words spawned by their classical grandparents.
Until yesterday, I couldn’t wait for class to begin.
I chose the book Word Power Made Easy, by Norman Lewis. I read the book some time ago, and it had impressed me.
Last week, I hit upon a novel idea. I should read the book again before class. Brilliant, yes?
Well, I am glad I decided to read it again. The book is excellent. Almost excellent, that is.
I had forgotten how many sexually suggestive comments and definitions the book contained.
I rationalized. I could explain away the references in a clinical, medical tone. That should work. Maybe it would have.
Unfortunately, I kept reading. The innuendos continued piling up. Pretty soon I had a mountain to cross. In the end, I knew I had no choice. I would have to dump the book.
Here’s the problem. Class starts in two weeks.
I have a stack of books near my bed. Each one promises to propel your vocabulary into the stratosphere. Most of them rely on Greek and Latin roots to get you there.
There is only one problem. Most of the books are soooo boring. It’s almost as if the authors were trying to get people to watch golf on television. Is there anything more boring?
Yes. The books I was reading. They were more boring than television golf.
Word Power Made Easy is entertaining. That is why I chose the book in the first place. But, it is also lewd. Which is why I dumped it.
I have a dilemma. I can choose entertaining, but lewd. Or, I can choose boring.
Dilemma comes from two Greek words. Δι (di) means twice. Λῆμμα (lemma) means proposition. Technically, if you have a dilemma, you have a choice of two.
Thank goodness, As Tim Ferris argues in The Four Hour Work Week, there is always a third path.
After months and months of pushing it off, I am choosing the third path.
I am going to write my own book.
For years now, I have gathered interesting word derivations and have turned them into the “Word of the Day.”
There is an eight hundred page document on my computer. About six hundred of those pages contain English words with a Latin grandmother. The other two hundred pages are a mix of Greek, German, and Saxon roots.
I feel a bit like a carpenter looking at a downed forest. “Anyone gonna do anything with all this wood?”
Yesterday, I stood looking at the forest. By the end of the day, I was depressed.
I decided to do something about it. I met an old friend for a couple of beers.
I gave myself a day off. I gave myself one day to be depressed.
I’m better today. Decision made. I will write the book myself.
I will likely need some help on this one. Don’t be surprised if I call you in on this project.
We start Monday.