A.Word.A.Day brought wisdom my way

Every day “A.Word.A.Day” lands in my email inbox. Anu Garg and team produce this and other resources as part of Wordsmith.org:

Wordsmith is a worldwide online community of people who share a love for words, wordplay, language, and literature. They hail from more than 170 countries, from Australia to Zimbabwe and almost all other places in between. Wordsmith was founded in 1994 by Anu Garg, while a graduate student in computer science.

If you don’t already subscribe, I highly recommend this daily dose of vocabulary-building content. Each week follows a theme (last week: words derived from body parts), and each message offers a word followed by its pronunciation, meaning, etymology, and usage examples. The format is stark, clean, simple—putting full focus on words and how we can use them.

That’s exactly why I started reading Anu’s messages: I wanted to learn new words and see interesting terms used in extraordinary ways. Now, many years after subscribing to this daily email feed, I still get those benefits.

But in the past couple of years, I have come to value a different aspect of Anu’s content. Now, I read his messages from the bottom up … because at end of each email, under the heading “A Thought for Today,” he includes a quotation.

The range of these quotations is impressive. I’ve been delighted to read many of my favorite quotes. Even more, I have discovered voices and wisdom I may never have encountered, if not for A.Word.A.Day.

Today, while answering email and deleting old messages, I discovered three A.Word.A.Day messages I’d been saving, just for these quotes:

Can anything be sadder than work left unfinished? Yes, work never begun. -Christina Rossetti, poet (1830-1894)

Every man is guilty of all the good he didn’t do. -Voltaire, philosopher (1694-1778)

You become a writer by writing. It is a yoga. -R.K. Narayan, novelist (1906-2001)

Do you see a thread that ties these together? I certainly do. I have been holding on to these words that urge me to begin, to act, to write. The moment that realization took hold, I started writing this post. And tomorrow I will write some more …

… after I read A.Word.A.Day.

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