20,000 Words

20,000

My son Tom recently gave me a book titled 20,000 Words, Sixth Edition,

“Spelled and Divided for Quick Reference.”

Just the words.

No definitions.

No history.

But they are in alphabetical order.

And stories lurk in each group of words.

 

man·sard

man·ser·vant

man·sion

man·slaugh·ter

man·slay·er

mansuetude

man·teau

Cloak and dagger in a gentle English setting.

 

sau·na

saun·ter

sau·sage

sau·té

sau·terne

sav·age

sav·age·ry

sa·van·na

sa·vant

sav·ior

sa·vory

A tasty story with a threat of violence and a happy end.

 

lar·ce·ny

large—scale

lar·ghet·to

lar·i·at

lark·spur

A huge and slow-moving botanical Western.

About Scott Abbott

I received my Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University in 1979. Then I taught at Vanderbilt University, BYU, and Utah Valley State College. At Utah Valley University, I directed the Program in Integrated Studies for its initial 13 years and was also Chair of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy for three years. My publications include a book on Freemasonry and the German Novel, two co-authored books with Zarko Radakovic (REPETITIONS and VAMPIRES & A REASONABLE DICTIONARY, published in Serbo-Croatian in Belgrade and in English with Punctum Books), a book with Sam Rushforth (WILD RIDES AND WILDFLOWERS, Torrey House Press), a "fraternal meditation" called IMMORTAL FOR QUITE SOME TIME (University of Utah Press), and translations of three books by Austrian author Peter Handke, of an exhibition catalogue called "The German Army and Genocide," and, with Dan Fairbanks, of Gregor Mendel's important paper on hybridity in peas. More famously, my children are in the process of creating good lives for themselves: as a model and dance/yoga studio manager, as a teacher of Chinese language, as an ecologist and science writer, as a jazz musician, as a parole officer, as a contractor, as a seasonal worker (Alaska and Park City, Utah), and as parents. I share my life with UVU historian Lyn Bennett, with whom I have written a cultural history of barbed wire -- THE PERFECT FENCE (Texas A&M University Press). Some publications at http://works.bepress.com/scott_abbott/
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2 Responses to 20,000 Words

  1. Alex caldiero says:

    Now that is indeed poetry. Good stuff.

    Like

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