By Susan JAMES
Have you ever searched for that perfect word? You know, the one that will send Twitter into viral paroxysms or Facebook into spasms of Googling? If you have then have I got a website for you! For over a decade popping into my e-mailbox every morning is a word of the day, complete with origin, definition, samples of examples and a thought from the Universal Archives of Wisdom.
The site was founded in 1994 by Anu Garg, a Seattle graduate student who later joined AT&T Labs as a web designer and architect. But Garg’s love of words eventually spun him off into his own space full-time with the creation of Wordsmith. Now a writer, lecturer and committed logophile, each word of the day is a lovingly curated Gargian product delivered right to your computer or electronic device. For one million people in 171 countries from Afghanistan to Zambia, it’s a small smile of encouragement that arrives daily with the morning coffee.
As a writer, Wordsmith.Org has become one of my best online friends but for readers it’s a great resource as well. Learning language keeps us connected as a community of word lovers. And now Wordsmith.Org (which is free) is celebrating its 25th birthday with a cluster of contests and a parcel of prizes. Want to tour the offices of Oxford English Dictionary in Oxford, UK, or those of Merriam-Webster in Springfield, Massachusetts? These are only two of the prizes for contestants who’ve always wanted to write a limerick or coin a new word. Selfie, LOL, OMG, new words and acronyms are happening all the time. Join the party at https://wordsmith.org/25years/contests.html.