I fell in love with words in elementary school, First Grade to be exact. Back in the day, when I started school, the kindergarten curriculum consisted of learning to tie one's shoes and share one's toys, to not eat library paste or run with scissors, and to color inside the lines. We did become familiar with letters but not really in conjunction with words.
In First Grade we learned that letters all have their own sounds; except for the greedy ones that have two and shy little C who has none of her own and just borrows from her two friend S and K. But I digress.
I had a large vocabulary of spoken words already, due to all the teachers and librarians in my family. My habit was always to read ahead of the teacher. In our Spelling text book, the directions said that after each test we were to write all missed words in our naughty book. Teacher got to that part and I learned the rule that turned naughty book into notebook.
By Seventh grade I had been exposed to poetry and learned that words could sing, even without music ... they could make their own music.
In high school I grew to love the primitive beginnings of words -- Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote, The droghte of Marche hath perced to the roote ….. Wherefore art thou Romeo … a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
Always though, I tried to learn the meanings of words and especially dear to me are the ones with many, sometimes unrelated, meanings.
For example, “Mark” means
- · A curse: the mark of Cain
- · A unit of currency in Germany, Poland, Finland, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Estonia.
- · A name [and the name of a person who is extremely dear to me.]
- · A customer that spends a lot of money trying to win a game. [This term was coined because carnies would alert each other to the big spender by marking him some way (usually by patting them on the shoulder with powdered chalk in hand).]
- · A term for the border territories of a country.
- · A clean catch from a kick by another player that results in a free kick in Rugby.
- · A spot or stain.
- · A dupe or a victim selected for a theft or a swindle
- · A symbol signifying the maker of original art.
- · A student’s grade on a particular piece of work.
- · A badge
- · A visible impression
- · An influence
So many different meanings for such a little word, eh?