A highlight at work recently wasn’t directly work-related at all but a positive comment from a colleague on my use of the word “outlandish”.
“Outlandish” isn’t a word I remember using very much until maybe three years ago and now I use it quite a lot.
In the workplace, and in life in general, I value diversity and inclusion. I find myself drawn into conversations about inclusion a lot. One day about three years ago we were discussing the use “guys” when addressing groups of people; I’d successfully weaned myself off that word and onto “folks” as a more inclusive address. Moving away from the gendered term “guys” to folks took a little conscious effort, for a short time, but soon became second-nature. It was on that day that one of the team shared a link to a presentation entitled Sidestepping Ableist Language by Ashley Bischoff and viewing that presentation was a watershed moment for me. I’d say it was that day that I started to use the word “outlandish” instead of other ableist words, which were more prominent in my vocabulary. Again, it didn’t take much time or effort for me to move off one word onto another.
It makes me happy to know that a small change on my part can make a big difference to how included a member of a group feels.
I still wish I had a broader vocabulary.
For years now, I’ve been subscribed to the A.Word.A.Day email. I remember the moment I read the word petrichor for the first time and how I nearly leaped out of my chair when I discovered that my favourite smell had a name! This is a great source of word knowledge.
More recently, I’ve been enjoying listening to Something Rhymes with Purple, which is hugely entertaining as well as educational.
What’s your favourite source of new words?