Friday, June 27, 2008

"He was a wall I chose not to scale."

Martha Cooley, The Archivist

Isn't that a wonderful insight? Haven't we all met someone and, for reasons we can't specify, have decided to walk quietly but quickly away from any relationship with that person? But we do that because of the walls we climbed and had a helluva time finding the way back over the wall. And what about those occasions when we were/are the wall someone else chose/chooses not to scale? But we won't talk about that.


Mundivagant - Wandering through the world.

The book from which I took the word does not indicate what part of speech it is, so I'm not sure how to use it in a sentence.

Well, I just looked it up in the Oxford English Dictionary and learned something interesting. The OED gives the first printed usage of a word, but mundivagant has never been used in a sentence! The only two references cited are two seventeenth century dictionaries. How, pray tell, does a word end up in a dictionary if it has never been used, and since it has never been used, who would go to the dictionary to look it up? But I just did, didn't I?

I also learned that mundivagant is an adjective, and I've been scratching my head trying to figure out how to use it in a sentence as an adjective. I'm stymied.

So I am announcing the First Commonplace Book Contest. The first person who can use mundivagant in a sentence as an adjective will receive an autographed copy of Falling Pieces of the Broken Sky, a collection of my essays that is now out-of-print.

Send your sentence to me at Please put Sentence Contest in the subject line.

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