Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Like Studying for the SATs, Only Fun

My Merriam-Webster word of the day was a good one—“deasil” [DEE-zil], which means "clockwise.” Here’s the example sentence they offered:

“One pictograph shows a group of warriors dancing deasil around what appears to be a gigantic wild boar speared numerous times.”

And here’s the etymology:

“According to an old custom, you can bring someone good fortune by walking around the person clockwise three times while carrying a torch or candle. In Scottish Gaelic, the word "deiseil" is used for the direction one walks in such a luck-bringing ritual. English speakers modified the spelling to "deasil," and have used the word to describe clockwise motion in a variety of rituals.”

I guess what I’m saying is that if you don’t subscribe to a word-of-the-day service, you might think about it. (Writers can never have too many words at their fingertips!) I like Merriam-Webster and their comprehensive word site, which is found here. To subscribe (free) to word-of-the-day, you can go directly here.


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.