Monday, August 06, 2012

Vocabulary lesson

When I was in elementary school, a new fad swept the land. I can't remember what it was called, but it was a national contest that encouraged kids to learn new vocabulary words and memorize their dictionary meanings. We were required to learn so many new words per week, and the words had to be spelled out with perfect penmanship in a particular way on a specific type of card, about a foot long and 3-4 inches tall. Our class was taken to the University of Washington to compete against other elementary schoolers. We were encouraged to read the newspaper in order to find new words, then pull out the family dictionary to determine their meaning.

I had pretty much completely forgotten about all of this until I was reading the newspaper today, and came across these gems. Sadly, there is no family dictionary in the apartment.

I haven't noticed either of these being used in conversation or on TV, but one phrase I hear all the time is "have a squiz," which means "have a look." For example, on the radio, they'll say, "Have a squiz at our website for blah blah blah."

1 comment:

  1. Funny! The school thing was called "Word Market," by the way. I seem to remember you, in particular, getting really into it and going really far. Personally, I couldn't keep track of all the rules. But recently I was reading through a new curriculum I tried this year, and the woman who wrote the curriculum was the person who invented it! She worked at Bush in Seattle.