This current blog Word Nerdery follows on from a previous blog Word Nerds which reflects the morphological and etymological journey (key concepts underpinning orthography) for two Grade 7 humanities classes and their teacher, Ann Whiting.
“In his box are all the words I know”, he said. “Most of them you will never need, some you will use constantly, but with them you may ask all the questions which have never been answered and answer all the questions which have never been asked. All the great books of the past and all the ones yet to come are made with these words. With them there is no obstacle you cannot overcome. All you must learn to do is use them well and in the right places.” (p.98 King Azaz, the Unabridged, monarch of Dictionopolis to Milo as he ventures on his quest across the Mountains of Ignorance, beyond the Foothills of Confusion to rescue and restore the Princesses Rhyme and Reason to the Kingdom of Wisdom.)
The text above from The Phantom Tollbooth by Norman Juster, expresses my hopes for this group of grade 7 students: Cross the ‘Mountains of Ignorance’, go beyond the ‘Foothills of Confusion’, search for rhyme and reason’ to gain ‘wisdom’ and in doing so ‘ask all the questions that have never been answered,’ read the ‘great books of the past and the ones yet to come’. Overcome obstacles with words and ‘learn to use them well and in the right places’.
In keeping this orthographical record of word inquiry, I hope to show how word study can be integrated into and enrich the humanities class.