Why I Love to Browse the Dictionary

Merriam Webster online is a great resource for writers. Not for spelling, or word usage (all excellent excuses to turn there) but for inspiration and sheer fun.

With the imminent July 4th celebration in my beloved country I chanced to wonder how Merriam Webster defines the word patriot. It’s a word thrown around a lot these days in our bitter and divisive national discourse, usually in service of delivering an insult. “No patriot would fill in the blank.” “A true patriot would support fill in the blank (but usually some reference to the current inhabitant of the White House).”  “Patriots, grab your guns and let’s go re-educate some of these choose one: Godless Liberals – Snowflakes – Whiny Losers. Well, you get the picture, and it isn’t pretty.

Are we having fun yet?

But back to the online definition of patriot. After scrolling down the fascinating page, I noticed their “Trending” list of words with current high volumes of look ups and saw “kakistocracy.” So, I had to click through to read about that, wouldn’t you have? Go there now and check it out, because it is fascinating. Read the excerpt from the sermon delivered in 1644 and ask yourself how many of the descriptions you can recognize and apply today in America. https://www.merriam-webster.com/news-trend-watch/when-government-is-just-the-worst-20170629?src=defrecirc-fromthem-w

It’s downright uncanny. Yes, I looked up that word too. Go ahead. You know you want to. Hopping around in the dictionary can be as much fun as rereading Alice in Wonderland. Just as surreal and just as relevant.

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